Tomorrow = Last day for regular submission rates for DC Web Fest 7!

 Hurry up to get that regular submission rate!

Hurry up to get that regular submission rate!

Time is flying! Thanksgiving has passed us by and we are less than a month away from Christmas! So crazy. Over here at DC Web Fest, we want to make sure that you save some bucks by submitting before the regular submission rate ends TOMORROW!

The thing we love most about the content we receive is the diversity and authenticity. We get a little bit of everything, from content produced right here in DC to stories produced in Iran and various other parts of the world. We’re looking for the BEST of indie web series, digital shorts, trailers, podcasts, VR/AR, games, apps, blogs, and scripts. So if you’re making amazing digital media- we want to see it!

We all have stories. What’s yours? Head on over and submit!

Peace & Love.

DC Web Fest @ Rewind by Decades

Lunch was LIT yesterday maaaan! No seriously…Otessa had previously visited Rewind by Decades (a fabulous diner serving up the tastiest classics and comfort foods) and she told us about this unicorn waffle.

 Photo credit: Diana Eaton

Photo credit: Diana Eaton

WHEN I TELL YOU that was the BEST waffle I have EVER eaten in my entire LIFE. I know, I know. The thought of waffles and ice cream may seem repugnant but once you try it, you’ll be hooked. The next time you’re in the Dupont area, come through and give it a try!

Anyways, we didn’t meet for waffles- that was just an awesome byproduct of meeting at lunchtime. We actually went to meet up with DC Web Fest advisory board member and friend, Marcus Dowling. If you know Marcus, you know he’s in to just about everything cool. He’s like that go-to guy if you want to know about the awesome stuff happening in the city. We had a great conversation about prepping for the 7th annual DC Web Fest.

Among some of our topics of discussion were potential partners, venues, event programming, connections, etc. We can’t quite get into the specifics yet but just know that things are steadily unfolding and we are working to the best of our ability to make this the absolute BEST year yet. Just stay tuned as we reveal more partners, sponsors, venues, guests, and everything else web fest related.

Hope you’re shopping for thanksgiving :)

Peace & Love.

A Place to Call Home!

Venues…venues…and more venues! Finding a home for DC Web Fest 7 is INDEED one of the most important tasks at the moment. We’ve checked out some really amazing places like Eaton House and Decades; however, we have yet to lock in with anyone officially.

For DC Web Fest 6, we were super fortunate enough to use the AT&T Forum for Technology, Entertainment & Policy which was the PERFECT match, considering we are a digital media and technology festival. There were more than enough screens (which enabled us to implement simultaneous programming), the space was flexible- allowing us to divide and open for multiple use, and the venue offered convenient catering that kept our guests fed.

The seek continues for the perfect place for next year’s web fest. We’re really scaling up for next year, so the place MUST BE fire! The city is filled with amazing spots, soon enough we will land one!

Drop a comment of any venues you think would be a great match :)

Peace & Love

So...BMW makes films...and we're 17 years late on this discovery!

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So, you may or may not be aware of this, but BMW makes films! Too bad we’re 17 years late on this discovery. BMW Films has been around since 2001 and their films often star Hollywood big names such as Dakota Fanning and Don Cheadle. Some of its acclaimed directors include John Frankenheimer and Guy Ritchie, just to name a couple.

I took a few minutes to check out one of BMW’s short films, The Escape. My take away point from the film is this: the 2017 BMW 5 Series is a POWERFUL vehicle. There was one particular seen where the protagonist is trying to escape the antagonists (in the 2017 BMW 5 Series of course) and he ends up getting blocked under a bridge with a helicopter in front of him. The antagonist in the helicopter lowers a hook on the car (I guess to try to pull it up) but instead, the protagonist shifts to reverse, puts his foot to the floor, and drags the helicopter down to the ground. As always, it’s not a legit action movie without that dramatic explosion (BOOM).

The things that interests me the most is BMW MAKES FILMS. As large as the digital sphere is (locally and internationally), more of us (creators, curators, and consumers) should be aware of their presence, so I’m glad about this discovery. Who knows, maybe some day DC Web Fest will showcase one of their films :) The possibilities are endless.

Peace & Love.

Analyzing Diversity in Independent Media Project

Tired of the lack of diversity in movies? Tired of certain groups getting more screen time in movies than others? Tired of the same old content that keeps promoting the same old, stupid stereotypes? Well…SO ARE WE! Like you, we’re also over it…SERIOUSLY!

The lack of diversity and inclusion is no new issue. This has been an ongoing problem for decades. Although it has gotten better over the past several years, there is still much work that needs to be done.

The Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient is a program that uses advanced technology to detect male and female faces and determine the length of speech and screen time. The results from several top movies (across all genres) over the past few years have indicated that men get far more screen time and speech time compared to women. Even when there is a female lead in the movie, men still get more screen and speech time. Not surprised? Neither are we.

So we are embarking on this new Google-funded project that will use algorithms to analyze the demographics of content creators across different forms of visual media. We'll use the data to highlight underrepresented ethnic communities, gender divisions, and other areas of inequality/non-parity and provide qualitative and quantitative analysis for stakeholders, creators, and policy makers to begin addressing these issues.

The bottom line is there are still some folks who are in denial, claiming diversity IS NOT an issue…but it is…and we’re determined to prove it.

So how can you get in on the action?? SO GLAD YOU ASKED! It’s pretty simple. We’re collecting data through a brief survey that will only take a couple of minutes. The more data we gather, the better. So fill out the survey, share the link with every creative you know, and let’s pump up diversity and inclusion to better represent the world in which we live.

Questionnaire link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdVdyT5Up16Mm-jed0CZKAiJ52iVQXkn3Z4KMANuAYEbopS8g/viewform

Sweet Therapy in Fashion

 Photo credit: Steven Mendez

Photo credit: Steven Mendez

Fusing alternative fashion into everyday life isn't as dramatic as it seems. Japanese style, alternative fashion, anything that isn't jeans and a t-shirt can draw the gaze of the general public and make you feel like a colorful spectacle. However, in a moment of a fashion risk, there is also a relief.

Dressing in a manner so vibrant can substitute your voice as you interact with so many different people. I’m best known for my magical girl lite looks, with pink hair and heart-shaped glasses. I claim my magical girl status both for my admiration of 90’s and early 2000 anime series about magical girls and because I felt it expressed a joy I don't always exude in my daily life. If I'm not fighting evil by moonlight, I'm fighting it by daylight in common interactions. The joy I experience in feeling like I'm about to transform can mentally keep me going under the stressors of just being a black woman in America. I feel like I embody my favorite magical girls as I walk to work or pick up some shampoo at CVS. Whatever I’m doing these minor fashion additions help me express confidence and magic that I don’t feel I have in an ordinary style.

Alternative fashion, or even cosplay, offer the chance to dress beyond yourself but yet be the self you wish to be, or the character you want. It’s a duality of fiction and reality fused into fashion and style that tests the limits of our creativity. I don’t find anything wrong with jeans and a T-shirt. In fact being comfortable is a big thing I think is essential in how we dress. There are a few of us existing out here who find comfort in vibrant colors, pastels, all black, or perhaps Victorian-inspired fashions. I've seen that I'm dabbling in just about everything, fusing looks into a casual manner. I take inspiration from Japanese fashion, Ugly Betty, and anime. There are little details in my general style that come from all over the place. Color coordination and killer accessories really pack a punch for my magical girl aesthetic. My goal is to look like I'm in a magical girl anime and any moment I'm about to magical girl spin and transform.

However, I don't stop there. This upcoming fashion shoot with Otessa will push my fashion creativity into Decora. I'm modeling a style inspired by Hard Decora x Puvithel that fuses Decora and Menhera Fashion. Decora Fashion emerged in late 90's and early 2000's as a branch out of Harajuku fashion. This style is defined by the layers of accessories and bright colors used to decorate the outfit. Mehera, which is Japanese slang for "Mental healther" takes motifs from mental health stigmas and melds it into kawaii culture and aesthetics. Redefining a concept that can be socially isolated or ignored and making it into a statement of acceptance and care. My background in psychology and my love of fashion will really contribute to how I wear this fusion of styles and aesthetics. I'm excited and nervous but I like the challenge to represent my advocacy for mental health and fashion creativity in showing how something shunned in society can be beautiful. It’s a step in a different direction for me, but I hope that this style is another way to express something I believe in.

https://jadedisland.squarespace.com/

Location Scouting @ Eaton House!

CALLING ALL ARTISTS, ACTIVISTS, SOCIAL CHANGE AGENTS, AND ALL OTHERS MAKING IMPACT WITH YOUR WORK- If you have never been to Eaton House DC, YOU MUST GO! Seriously. This place is HOT and it’s designed just for you.

In short, Eaton House is a one-stop shop for folks who need space and resources to actualize their visions through meaningful work. This place has it all- from a podcast studio and various nooks for great coffee and food to hotel rooms, office space, event space, topped off with a dope rooftop space that is perfect for just about any event.

This place seems like it would be a super cool home for DC Web Fest 7. The folks there are very warm and welcoming. The interior is adorned with unique and eloquent art and design. There is even a theater room- perfect for a web fest , right? Yeah, this place has it all but let the photos below tell it!

Love & Peace.

Photo credits: Diana Eaton

First Location Scout: Decades & Rewind

Seems like we were just doing this all yesterday. How time FLIES! But it's fun to be back on the grind of seeking the PERFECT crib for our beloved baby- DC Web Fest, Edition 7! We've grown so much over the past several years, we've got to make sure we find a venue that has everything we need to set the party off right with the best of indie digital content, while wooing our attendees with all sorts of goodies. 

Otessa (the leading lady of the web fest) linked up with friend Marcus Dowling to visit Decades, a remarkable nightclub in the heart of DC's DuPont neighborhood. The venue is SO lively! Multiple floors with multiple screens. The decor is out of this world and how can I not mention the bangin' food that Rewind (by Decades) offers. OMG it is sooooo good. You gotta try it!

Anyhow, looking at photos is far more fun than reading, so check out some snapshots from the trip to Decades!

Peace & Love.

Photo credit: Otessa Ghadar

Otessa and other greats at Blerdcon!

So, imagine this- a bunch of people convening to nerd out, exchange ideas, showcase work, and disperse knowledge- the 2018 Blerdcon! 

Creatives from all over gathered for the LOVE of art and creativity. We're super proud to announce that Otessa Ghadar did what she does best at the event- spoke all about creating on the digital landscape. The opportunity to share knowledge and teach with passion is always an honor. It's even cooler when you're amongst other women creators who are full of amazing stories and experiences. 

There are only three days left until the community voting round for the Beacon Grant Program ends. This grant is designed to make DC a hub for women entrepreneurs and creators. Simply put, there is a need for more content/products/services BY WOMEN, FOR WOMEN! The DC web fest has celebrated many female creators, from filmmakers to podcasters. We're pumped about possibly winning this grant, as it will allow is to REALLY scale up our content, provide more resources for women creators and entrepreneurs, while continually educating and entertaining  through the digital media landscape. Help us make this happen!

Peace & Love.

 

Otessa + BEACON Grant Program

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So, we got the news and we're totally AMPED. Two of Otessa's projects have been selected as apart of the Beacon Grant Program community voting round! Pretty exciting to say the least. In short, the Beacon Grant Program provides funding and resources to women who are doing major work and making an impact in the DC area. The idea is to make DC a hub for female entrepreneurs- stuff created BY WOMEN, FOR WOMEN. 

The two projects selected are DC Web Fest and "She So Crazy". Most of you probably already know all about DC Web Fest, the area's first digital media festival that entertains and educates through promoting and showcasing the best of indie digital content. "She So Crazy" is the newest project co-produced by Otessa Ghadar and good friend Ashley Reede. 

"She So Crazy" is a multimedia project that uses portrait photography, podcast segments, blogs, and tv/digital series to give women a platform to tell their stories and experiences with toxic culture- from microaggressions and sexism to internalization and coping, we are unpacking it ALL with this project. The hope from the project is that women will not only experience a sense of relief and liberation upon speaking out on these issues, but we hope that it will form a sort of sisterhood. 

If we win this grant, we will be provided with the funds and resources to scale up the QUALITY and QUANTITY of our content, reaching a wider audience and making a greater impact. Are you with us? If so, do these two steps to push us closer to winning!

1) Visit https://beacon.grantplatform.com/register/maEbMKJw

2) Register to access the community voting section

3) Search for DC Web Fest and She So Crazy and vote!

We're reaching for the stars!

Love & Peace!