Friday, July 07, 2023

LAWEBFEST 2024 - Organizers & Board Members


LA WEBFEST 2024 - Organizers & Board Members 

  • Founder
    Michael Ajakwe Jr. (October 12, 1965 - May 31, 2018)

  • Michael Okwudili Ajakwe Jr. (October 12, 1965 – May 31, 2018) was an American television, theatrical, and film writer and producer. The creator of the world's first web series festival and the founder of LAWEBFEST (Los Angeles Web Festival). Prior to the year of his death, Beauty and the Baller, a nine-episode comedy series that he created, produced, and directed outside of the studio system, was licensed to Viacom, which premiered on Centric TV in 2017.

  • Honorary President
    Tammy Ajakwe

  • Honorary Chairman
    Jean-Michel Albert

Jean-Michel is the founder/artistic director of the Marseille Web Fest, which since its creation in 2011 has aimed to promote and embody series from around the world, as a spokesperson for this new popular and ultra-creative art. From 2016 to 2022, he was also responsible for the Canneseries short-form competition.

He is responsible for development at Darklight Content, a French horror film and/or series production company, and also executive producer for the company TamTam Stories, which he co-created in 2019. In 2022, he joined "Les Humano├»des Associ├ęs" as executive producer.

  • Festival Director
    Young Man Kang

Young Man Kang directed several feature films and over 10 web series. All feature films have been released on VOD in Netflix and Amazon in the US, and have sold in 15 countries. He has a total of 30 awards from a number of film festivals and webfests.

Young Man Kang collaborated with fellow film "Avatar" alumni, Just Cause 3D, on his "4D Experience" Project. His latest series “Lotte Haus” won 10 awards and selected over 30 film festivals.
He is a founder of the Kwebfest (Seoul Webfest) & Asia Web Awards. 

Vice President
Jazmen Darnell Brown  

Jazmen Darnell Brown is a PGA (Producers Guild) fellow, filmmaker, screenwriter, and an award-winning TV writer. He has a WGA Award, a Daytime Emmy nomination, and has written for Peacock, OWN, Starz, and BET. He’s currently a writer for the popular Starz crime drama BMF.

  • Associate Director
    Jordan Mitchell-love
  • Jordan Mitchell-Love wears many hats in the industry; he's been an actor, stuntman, casting producer, and assistant director. Some of his online acting credits include "It's Complicated" and "The Fortnight;" in total his web series have been viewed over 10 million times. He has also helped cast major competition shows such as Chopped on The Food Network; The Final Straw on ABC; and Wipeout on TBS. He has been the red carpet host for LA WEBFEST since 2016, and is the Show Host and MC for LAWEBFEST 2022~2023.

    • Chairman of the Board
      Rich Halke

    Professor Rich has written or consulted on a wide range of film, television, advertising, animation, interactive, VR, and multi-platform projects for ABC, ABC Family, NBC, CBS, The Disney Channel,, Touchstone Television,, Hasbro, FOX, and The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He has consulted/lectured/served on panels for The Broadcast Education Association, Digital Hollywood, The Warner Bros. Writers Workshop, NPR, USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, UCLA’s Masters Television Writing Program, The University of Miami Film Department, Columbia College of Chicago, Rio Webfest, Buenos Aires Webfest, DC Webfest, and he’s been quoted by multiple news sources, including the WGA’s "Written By" magazine and "The Wall Street Journal". He is a founding board member of The Los Angeles Web Series Festival, an advisory board member of The Marseille Webfest, and lead instructor of The Marseille Digital Writers Residency.  Prof. Rich has also had the honor of serving as a nominator for The Sundance Institute / YouTube New Voices Lab.

    • Festival Advisor
      Joel Bassaget

    • International Relations
      Melodie Everson

    • Board Member
      Gus L. Blackmon

    • Board Member
      Thomas Kim

    • Board Member
      Neem Basha

    Neem Basha began his film career training under the tutelage of Emmy-Award winning writer Barry Goldsmith (“The Joan Rivers Show”).  Neem went on to become a 19-time award winning writer/director/producer, starting with his full-length feature film “Ten-Buck Baton,” which was screened at multiple film festivals in 2013 and won four awards -- including Best Feature Film at the New York/Los Angeles International Film Festival. 

    Since then, Neem has been at the helm of several successful projects. His varied portfolio includes feature films, music videos, commercials, government PSAs, and short films, including “Home Invasion” and “Repentance,” which is streaming on Amazon Prime.

    Neem’s latest and most successful production is his smash hit “Neem’s Themes,” an internationally award-winning sketch comedy series with over 30 crowd-pleasing episodes. More projects are in the pipeline for 2022 and beyond! 

    Neem’s work has been seen by well over 40 million people - on The Big Screen, on digital media, and on platforms such as Hulu, NYC cable stations, and others.  His award portfolio is varied, having won awards for his directing and writing, a People’s Choice Award from an international audience in Valencia, Spain, and a filmmaking Achievement Award in Seoul, Korea, among others. 

    Neem brought his background and expertise to the New Jersey Web Festival, which went on to become one of the best-reviewed festivals on Film Freeway. He enjoys greeting creators from all over the world for this annual tradition, while also continuing to produce varied and crowd-pleasing productions of his own. Neem is thrilled to join the Los Angeles Web Fest as a board member.

    • Board Member
      Kathie Fong Yoneda

    Kathie Fong Yoneda is an entertainment consultant specializing in development and marketing of live action and animated film, television, literary, and web projects. A former exec at Disney, Touchstone, Island Pictures and Disney TV Animation, she has taught workshops in over 20 countries worldwide. Kathie is an original board member for LAWebfest and has worked closely with Jean Michel Albert, founder of the Marseille

    Webfest. She is the author of The Script-Selling Game, 2nd edition (Michael Wiese Productions) and has mentored writers for the Rocaberti Retreats in Europe. She exec produced the series Beyond The Break as
    well as the acclaimed live action short 30 Minutes, the web series The Big O and worked with author Heather Morris on her award-winning novel The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

    • Board Member
      Frederic Josue

    Frederic Josue is a media and entertainment specialist, CEO of
    He works for Ferrero, BNPParibas, Orange, French Ministery of Education.
    International Innovation Expert dealing with technology. Professor at the Political Sciences Institute of Paris, a class on Tech and Content Platforms Strategy. His skills are public speaking, writing, marketing, consulting. He received Emmy Award and he has clients BNP, Paribas Fortis, Orange.

      • Board Member
        Pamela Jaye Smith 

    Pamela Jaye Smith is a Mythologist, Author, international Consultant-Speaker, and award-winning Writer-Producer-Director with thirty plus years experience in features, TV, commercials, documentaries, web series, XR projects, music videos, corporate and military films – in Hollywood and around the world. 
    She is on the Board of Advisors for the LAWEBFEST, has presented at the Marseille WebFest, and is a frequent jurist for screenplays and film festivals.

    • Board Member (Podcasts) 
      Mike Atchley

    Born in Casper, Wyoming, Mike Atchley is a passionate actor, musician, artist, and author.  He is most known as the narrator, composer and producer of Dice Tower Theatre from Good Ham Productions and his voice has appeared in other audio works such as Aethuran Dark Saga, Ninth World Journal and Chronicles of Eridul. His experience as an audio engineer on recordings and live performances has extended for over 30 years both DIY and as a professional.  Mike believes in promoting the audio community both as a supporter and as a contributor; and share it with those who may have never experienced the magic of audio adventures.

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