Sunday, May 07, 2023

The 14th Annual LA WEBFEST 2023 - Award Ceremony


14th Annual LA WEBFEST 2023 Award Show group photo

The LA WEBFEST completed its 14th annual event, which took place at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Los Angeles on May 4-5, 2023. 

This year's festival showcased some of the best long-form series, short-form web series, short films, pilots, and podcasts from around the world.

One of the exciting new features of this year's festival was the inclusion of long-form series from major players such as ABC, Netflix, Apple TV, and LionsGate+. 

For the first time, the LA WEBFEST honored the creators, directors, writers, actresses, and actors behind these popular shows. Some of the nominees included Jason Momoa for his role in "See," Paula Patton for "Somewhere Between," and Randy Huggins for creating "BMF," a popular crime drama produced by Curtis 50 Cent” Jackson. 

The Best Actor award winner was Devon Sawa for "Somewhere Between," and the Best Actress award winner was Seol-Hyun Kim, a South Korean singer and actress for the long-form series "Summer Strike," produced by South Korea's KT Studiogenie.

Festival Director Young Man Kang & Actor Michael Pare

The festival also had notable winners like actor Michael Pare, known for his roles in '80s hits like "Eddie and the Cruisers" and "Street of Fire," who won the Best Actor award for his role in the short film "The Curse of Stone Hill." 

The Best Web Series of all genres for short form award winner was "Hammersmith," and the Best Long-Form Series was “BMF."

BMF Producers Team & Young Man Kang

The LA WEBFEST has a long history of discovering new talent and fostering creativity in the web series format. Issa Rae, star and creator of "Insecure," originally screened her show "Awkward Black Girl" at the festival, and her co-star Yvonne Orgi was discovered by LA WEBFEST founder Michael Ajakwe, Jr.

Ajakwe founded the LA WEBFEST in 2009, making it the first international festival dedicated specifically to web series. Since then, the festival has grown and inspired the creation of webfests all over the world, with more than 50 webfests forming a worldwide network.

Tragically, Ajakwe passed away in 2018, but his legacy lives on through the festival and its new director, Young Man Kang. Honorary President Jean-Michel Albert, founder of the Marseille Webfest in France, remarked that "with the rapid growth of YouTube, OTT platforms, and social media, web series festivals are constantly growing in number."

Overall, the LA WEBFEST was a celebration of creativity and innovation in the web series format, honoring established talent and discovering new voices from around the world.

BMF Team & Young Man Kang

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