The Fifth Annual NYC Web Fest Has Announced Its Jury For 2018

The fifth annual NYC Web Fest (NYCWF) is on its way, and today it has announced 10 professional jurors, expanding the panel from last year. It is the most international panel to date and we can’t wait to see how they vote. The festival will take place on November 8-10 in Manhattan and has expanded to include short films alongside web series.

The NYCWF is getting bigger and bigger year-on-year; just last year we saw the NYC Web Fest move to a new venue that could accommodate double the capacity than the previous year; and saw guests fly in from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and South Africa.

Talking about NYCWF, founder Lauren Atkins described getting to year five as her proudest achievement. “The day before submissions opened, I found out that over 50 percent of start-ups don’t survive to see their fifth anniversary, so it’s a big year for us.”

This year also sees a new programming department, led by Programming Director, Lindsay Pugh, who is the founder of Woman In Revolt which is an intersectional film and television blog devoted to women behind the camera. Also, a part of the programming department is Writer & Art Director, Andreea Drogeanu, and Sales Director, Sarah Grieco, who has returned for her second year in a row.

NYC Web Fest Founder, Lauren Atkins, with Sales Director, Sarah Grieco

As previously mentioned, short films are a new addition to the NYCWF; they have their own category this year and will be showcased alongside web series and pilot episodes. A lucky winner of the NYC Web Fest will land an exclusive distribution deal with Seed&Spark, which is a new streaming service that connects audiences to original new voices in indie film via subscription streaming and crowdfunding.

You can submit your web series, pilot episode, and/or short film right now through the official NYC Web Fest website. Submissions will close on July 31, 2018.

Here Is The 2018 NYC Web Fest Jury Panel

  • Justin R. Ching – Producer, Show Runner
  • Alex Cirillo – Producer
  • C. Fitz – Director, Writer, Producer
  • David Kau – Comedian, Content Creator
  • Nathalie Kohen – Talent Producer
  • Shira Lazar – Media Personality
  • Joanna Pickering – Actor, Writer, Producer
  • April Reign – Activist,  Marketing Director
  • Tessa Treanor – Producer
  • Xilla Valentine – Journalist

Justin R. Ching

He is an award-winning showrunner and producer, having produced hit series’ for Amazon, FOX, and YouTube. He is currently the Supervising Producer of Amazon’s Ritual. He began his career with YouTube Originals, launching channels such as VICE, AwesomenessTV, and Tastemade. He is known for his FOX/Facebook partnership which he led, to produce @TheBuzzer, the comedy series The Fighter & The Kid, as well as the docu-series Z Dream – which is the highest-rated program on FOX’s SPEED Network.

Alex Cirillo

Alex Cirillo is a producer and director, as well as co-founder of Big Vision Empty Wallet, a film and media incubator for film and series creators, and Big Vision Creative, a production company specializing in feature film and TV series development.

C. Fitz

She’s worked in advertising, social media, and filmmaking spaces in regards to television, film, and marketing. She recently released her documentary Jewel’s Catch One on Netflix, distrubuted by Ava DuVernay’s company ARRAY.

David Kau

He is a South Africa-born internationally-renowned comedian who is also an actor, director, and producer. His candid comedy has set stages ablaze and has gained him millions of fans around the world.

Nathalie Kohen

Nathalie Kohen has over eight years experience in talent, event, and strategic communications. Currently, she serves as the Talent & Editorial Producer for Marvel Entertainment’s New Media division. Before this role she was Talent & Strategic Communications Producer for Broadway Video’s digital studio Above Average.

Shira Lazar

She is the co-founder/CEO and host of live interactive daily show and millennial media brand What’s Trending which was nominated for an Emmy in 2012. The brand partnered with Sinclair Broadcasting’s circa.com in 2017, where they launched Circa Pop Live! with Shira Lazar. Recently she hosted a weekly podcast with Westwood One, titled On Tour With Live Nation.

Joanna Pickering

She’s a British actress who is also a writer, producer, and an activist. She is trained in dramatic arts from The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York City. She has made over 20 independent films, worldwide.

April Reign

April Reign is best known for being the creator of the viral hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. It was a monumental movement which resulted in the most systemic change ever seen in the over 80-year history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Now, she’s the Senior Director of Marketing for Fractured Atlas, which is a nonprofit arts service organisation. Prior to this, she practised law for almost 20 years.

Tessa Treanor

She is a creative producer who has been involved in narrative productions from quirky comedies to character-driven dramas. Originally from the UK, Tessa Treanor graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has also been involved with NYCWF in the past, as she was a producer of Life, After which was screened at NYC Web Fest and Brooklyn Web Fest. She also acted as a producer on SRSLY. She’s also won a few awards, most notably the Special Jury Award for Narrative Shorts at the New Orleans Film Festival, and the Best Experimental Short Award at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival, both for the short film she produced, Drifters.

Xilla Valentine

Xilla Valentine is one of the most prominent journalists in Hollywood. Acting as GlobalGrind’s Sr Entertainment editor, his videos have racked up over 200 million views on YouTube and over 30 million views on Facebook. He has also interviewed many A-listers.

Submissions For The NYC Web Fest Are Open Now

You can submit your web series, pilot episode, and/or short film to NYC Web Fest now; you have until July 31, 2018, which is when submissions close. The NYCWF was founded by Lauren Atkins in 2014, after recognising there were several festivals showcasing digital series on the west coast, but nothing in New York.

Lauren Atkins said about the NYCWF: “Our goal is to make this festival the premier home for digital producers on an international level. An organic space where creators can showcase their talent, network with other artists, and learn from industry insiders.”

The sold out Women in Film panel from NYC Web Fest 2017

The NYC Web Fest 2018 will take place on November 8-10 in Manhattan. The venue has yet to be announced. With the most international jury to-date, we expect NYC Web Fest 2018 is going to be the best yet and the one festival you won’t want to miss.

What do you make of the jury announcement for the NYC Web Fest? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix.

Written by Jonathan Currinn

25-year-old writer, blogger, author and journalist. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2015. I write under the name Critic Jonni, on my blog. I also write for Channillo, Outlet Magazine, SPECTRUMM, Fuzzable, Modern Magazine, and Electric Mode. Follow me on Twitter @CriticJonni