On the set and behind-the-scenes, filmmaking is a people-based business. Before any project can truly get to the production stage, would-be and current storytellers must establish strong people skills with executives and talent alike. They must treat their peers with the utmost respect, and they must also be unafraid to ask for help and advice on the fundamentals of filmmaking.
This July, the first annual Stareable Fest will offer web series creators a multitude of opportunities to do all of the above. From July 20th-22nd at Town Stages in Tribeca, New York City, Stareable Fest features an amazingly well-rounded program of show screenings, panel discussions, workshops, and countless networking opportunities.
Included in the program is a special 90-second pitch contest, taking place on Saturday, July 21st. The competition is presented by HBO, with the best pitch chosen by a panel of judges from PBS Digital and Comedy Central. Stareable Fest’s Film Freeway page is still accepting entries for the event, and its final deadline for submissions is May 31st. “If your pitch is selected, you could win a mentorship meeting with HBO executives,” notes Stareable Community Director Bri Castellini. A full list of the weekend’s panels, workshops, and networking activities is featured on the Stareable Fest website.
Described by the festival’s organizers as “half industry marketplace/half creator convention”, Stareable Fest is boldly and proudly unique. While it has the usual accouterments of a traditional web series festival – screenings, panels and awards ceremonies – Stareable Fest presents an environment that meets the educational and professional needs of show creators from around the world.
The proceedings start on July 20th with a keynote address by Bernie Su, creator of the Emmy-winning The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma Approved, followed by a “speed networking” session constructed to help filmmakers open up about their projects to other filmmakers. This speed networking session also gives participants the relief of not having to worry about the right topic to start a conversation with.
“Speed networking is run much like speed dating is,” explains Castellini (writer/creator/co-star of Brains and Sam and Pat Are Depressed). “A group of participants will be paired up with a set amount of time – say, 5 minutes – to get to know each other before a buzzer goes off and one half of the pair moves a seat to their right. This is a great way to meet a lot of people very quickly without having to work up the courage to approach strangers in a big room.”
Informative conversations on everything from crowdfunding and career sustainability to content monetization and audience growing are scheduled. Panelists include Seed&Spark crowdfunding director Christina Raia, director/showrunner Alex LeMay (Go90’s Every Single Step and Word Of Mouth, YouTube Red’s Mariah Carey musical Keys Of Christmas), Downsized writer/creator Daryn Strauss, as well as actor/comedian Carl Foreman Jr., co-star and co-creator of IFC’s Frank & Lamar.
While Stareable Fest will present an impressive and diverse lineup of web series screenings, the openness of the entire 3-day event provides filmmakers of all levels a forum to educate themselves on the critical tools they’ll need to make top-notch episodic content. Most importantly, Stareable Fest encourages its attending web series creators to get in touch with their peers throughout the festival weekend.
“We designed this fest to be as useful to as many people as possible – an event that doesn’t require you to be an official selection, or to even have a web series filmed,” says Castellini. “Our goal with the festival is to help talented filmmakers get discovered by industry, by audiences, and by their peers, and to help participants of all levels learn actionable advice from the various panels, workshops, and networking events. Stareable Fest attendees will walk away from the fest with something concrete, no matter what they came into it with.”
A full rundown of the panels and networking events at Stareable Web Fest can be viewed at this link:
To submit your pitch to Stareable Fest’s 90 second pitch contest, visit: