Do We Know Know Our Rights?? (Part 1)

As creatives, we treat our creations like our babies. We put everything into them. We nourish them. We want to show them off to the whole world. We are proud of them (even if they're not that great). Most of all, we want to PROTECT them. We want the whole world to know that our creations are OURS, and no one else's.

Did you know that your content (be it literary works, musical, visual, etc.) is automatically under copyright protection the moment it is created? The only criteria the work must meet in order to be protected is it must be perceptible, either directly or by a device. In layman's terms, only actual works can be protected, not ideas.

As the content creator/copyright holder, you SOLELY have the exclusive rights to the resale and distribution of your work!

Check out this informative article written by DCWF friend Kim Tignor, who is the Director of Public Policy for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and phenomenal Author/Writer/Influencer, Jouelzy.

Now, that you have a better understanding of your rights as a content creator, WE WANT TO SEE YOUR WORK! We are gladly accepting submissions for the 6th edition of the DC Web Fest.

-Diana Eaton, DC Web Fest Team



A Tale of Two Launches

Hello ladies and gentleman. First-time poster, long-time supporter of digital everything. Strap in, because today we are recapping two incredible initiatives, both new and invaluable assets to the digital community, in D.C. and beyond.

A lot of big things are happening in response to the political climate (take the past 24 hours for example – here’s lookin’ at you, Patagonia and Time’s ‘Silence Breakers’) but Full Color Future and Creative Control enable positive, ground-swell action in a brand new way. Created by Google Nex Gen Fellows Brian Woolfolk and Kim Tignor (cohort members with our festival founder Otessa Ghadar) we attended their launch events and are here to make a formal introduction.

Full Color Future is a think tank and advocacy group aiming to change the game for digital creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs of color. Their focus? This pull quote from their website puts it best – “Visionaries … changing their lives and our world by leveraging tech and the internet to redefine what is possible.” In a world where input from innovators of color is marginalized, Full Color Future plans to advocate and actively include their expertise and worldview in policy conversations to make the changes we seek truly multicultural ones. Members of the first Full Color 50 class  – writer and comedian Jenny Yang, founder DeShuna Spencer, and FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn – set the tone for an amazing evening of discussion and empowerment. We made new connections with video producers, State Department officials, and documentary filmmakers – and hanging out in Google’s DC headquarters wasn’t half bad, either. (See my android bb below.)

(PC: Amy Young. Android grub says hi.)

(PC: Amy Young. Android grub says hi.)

(PC: Amy Young. Full Color Future Advisory Board, with Otessa fourth from left.) 

(PC: Amy Young. Full Color Future Advisory Board, with Otessa fourth from left.) 

It was an excellent way to start the week, and little did I know it was about to get better.

The launch of Creative Control at Redrocks H Street was two nights later, and proved a powerful counterpart to the first. Where Full Color Future advocates the work, Creative Control provides the legal know-how to protect invaluable IP. A collection of impassioned lawyers, creatives, and visionaries, all dedicated to protecting the creative rights of people of color, made for one powerful launch and one incredible room. The sangria was flowing, the pizza was bubbling, the atmosphere was electric. And the programming! Need help sussing out your legal needs? There were free legal consultations provided for attendees. Even as a walk-in, I met with a wonderful lawyer who taught me the difference between copyright and trademark. Want to join the conversation? Several panels (one moderated by Otessa) on IP law and how to monetize your content occurred throughout the evening with leaders in the field. It’s not often education is so successfully mixed with fraternization, but the takeaway was a strong one: whether in court or in the digital sphere, we are here to protect you.

(PC: Amy Young. If you don't have custom neon lights, what are you evening doing?) 

(PC: Amy Young. If you don't have custom neon lights, what are you evening doing?) 

(PC: Amy Young. A panel on IP, just about to start.) 

(PC: Amy Young. A panel on IP, just about to start.) 

It’s easy, in the face of this constant negative deluge, to feel injustice is insurmountable. However, in the words of oft and ever-quotable Mr. Rodgers, it helps to look for the helpers. The advocates. The tireless doers. Full Color Future and Creative Control are just such organizations, and ones we look forward to championing.

– A. K. Young

Got Content?

Kind of like sports, there is a world cup for web series, created by the one and only Joël Bassaget. The whole idea is to provide web fest creators with a platform for healthy competition- may the dopest content win! The process includes collecting the results from the best webfests around the world and publishing a table of the most awarded web series of the year to provide the audience with an up-to-date listing of the best content. Created in 2015, the series has evolved to become apart of Cannes MIPTV to showcase its top ten web series. All roads lead to Cannes!

This is an awesome indie movement and we, the DC Web Fest, are honored to be apart of it. Though the world cup is ultimately a competition, it's a win-win situation. Regardless of WHICH web series wins, we all win ultimately as we unite as a global community to maintain the indie spirit. What do we want? What is the goal? TO KEEP THE PENS WRITING AND CAMERAS ROLLING ON INDIE CONTENT! We've gotta' keep this awesome thing going.

Got content? We want it! Who knows, you just may end up at Cannes one of these days.


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Language Can No Longer Keep Us Apart

SO AT LAST! Much thanks to Google, IBM, Waverly Labs, and Mymanu for tearing down the language barrier that has hindered us from the privilege of enjoying each other's authentic content from across the globe! Subtitles are great, but how about being able to simply pop-in some pocket-sized ear buds that will translate language in real-time. In other words, rather than having to read subtitles (which can be a minor distraction from the visuals), you can just pop-in the translator earbuds and enjoy the content in its full authenticity- the original language in which it was meant to be heard in. This is super great because it's not just about seeing content, but it's also about experiencing.


Otessa (DC Web Fest founder) recently gave a brilliant presentation at the Bilbao Web Fest where she discussed the rapid evolution of technology. Here's the dilemma:  50% of internet content is in English, only 20% of the world's population has some English skills, and 80% of the web is in only 10 languages. Problematic, right? Check out the internet maps below. The image to the left shows the massive use of the internet at different times across the globe, whereas the image to the right represents the internet as a massive universe, with numerous strands (users) intertwined. That being said, these translator ear buds are a major game changer for all festivals (and people) across the globe!


Friday at the Mosaic

More location scouting for the right one- the right venue that is for DC Web Fest #6. So, we hopped on Interstate 66 into the Mosaic District of Fairfax, VA. One word to describe it- LIVE. Maaaan, the place is ultra dope! There is so much to do and it's still in development, as it's only a few years old. Surrounded by hip apartments and and 4-level town homes with urban design, the Mosaic District is home of the Angelika Mosaic (the theater we fell in love with). There are also numerous places to grab a bite to eat and something sweet to drink. We were like kids in the candy shop. The minute we arrived camera phones and the DSLR were snappin' shots left and right. Will the Mosaic be the home of DC Web Fest #6? Not sure yet. But it's darn sure a good spot to chill! 


Location, Location, Location

Location scouting…aahhhhh…one of the many pleasures of throwing together the 6th edition of the nation’s capital’s first ever festival that entertains and educates through the promotion and showcasing of digital media arts. DC Web Fest 6 is coming right on along- IN FACT, submissions are officially open as of…NOW!

So we have spent loads of time trying to find the perfect home for DC Web Fest 6 and we checked out the Angelika Theatre at Union Market. It’s a beautiful venue! it has that most-dope indie vibe, and it’s in a pretty convenient location- NE D.C., right off of the NoMa-Gallaudet U metro stop. There are plenty of cool eateries, coffee shops, and other fun places to explore at the adjacent Union Market. The whole area just has a artsy feel to it. Graffiti adorns the sides of many of the buildings. Doc 5 is a nearby old warehouse with venue charm that hosts various events, from weddings to festivals. That’s just what true artists do- create and bring new out of the old.

So, this place definitely feels like a great potential home for DC Web Fest 6. Will it be the set venue? We don’t know yet. Still have a little more exploring to do BUT this place is definitely in our top five list.

Stay tuned!


From DC to LA

Hey! This is  Diana with the DC Web Fest team. Don’t know about you, but it is pouring over here in DC. The air is cool and the sky is grey. Some sun would be nice, but God had other plans for today’s weather…oh well.

Anyways, I’m just sitting here reflecting on my wonderful time in Los Angeles last week. Long story short, I’m in the graduate film program at American University. One of my professors encouraged me to submit an academic paper to a professional conference, so I did. Didn’t really think my paper would get accepted, but it did! So I got to fly out to Cali (for the very first time), ALL EXPENSES PAID- so awesome. I boarded the plane in cloudy, humid, hot Maryland and got off the plane in sunny LA. The weather was around a comfortable 75 degrees with a nice breeze. Tall palm trees surrounded me and the mountains towered over the city in the background. Never seen anything quite like it.

I made so many awesome connections at the conference, from professors to screenwriters. It was a great opportunity to not only share my work, but to also intake and learn from the work of others. I’ve never presented at a professional conference before, so of course I was NERVOUS! But there were nothing but positive vibes. Can’t wait to add this one to my resume 

I was in LA a total of 6 days but it went by absolutely too fast! Each day I found myself taking time to just gaze at the sky, the mountains, the palm trees, you know, all the awesome things that make LA what it is. My only regret is not having time to explore various areas such as the Griffith Observatory, Santa Monica Beach, etc. But it’s all good! I WILL BE BACK! The trip was  a major breath of fresh air and a clear indication that a new beginning is on the horizon.

Art as Our Escape: The Artscape Recap

Baltimore- a city THRIVING with history, vibrance, culture, and ART! Especially in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District, where many of the 2017 ARTSCAPE festivities took place.

For those who aren’t familiar with Artscape, it’s basically a free arts festival held each year that promotes and showcases the various forms of artistic creations. It usually takes place during mid-late July, starting Friday and ending Sunday. It’s pretty much a playground for anyone who loves art. If you’ve never been to the Station North Arts and Entertainment District in Baltimore, you should definitely check it out! It’s a community filled with various theaters, musical venues, urban row homes adorned with beautiful graffiti, and plenty of places to grab a bite to eat. Right around the corner is MICA (the Maryland Institute of Arts), a place where many aspiring artists and creatives develop and thrive.

Many folks walked the streets of Cathedral, North Ave., and Mount Royal (just to name a few) to check out the plethora of artistic works and products showcased in the various festival tents. The aroma of char-grilled foods filled the humid summer air. Rain trickled from the sky but no one really cared because 1) it was hot as heck, so the rain actually felt good 2) It’s ARTSCAPE! It goes on- rain or sunshine! Musicians and singers graced the main stage to fill the atmosphere with tunes from multiple decades. A youth dance company elegantly danced to the beats of their own tunes. Emerging young musicians and singers performed under professional instruction at the Meyerhoff (symphony hall). Haagen-Dazs gave away free pineapple-coconut ice cream (OMG it was so good). There was no fighting, or foolishness. It was just all about ART and LOVE- two things that seem to always bring people together.

If you didn’t make it to Artscape this year, GO NEXT YEAR! Even if it’s just for one day. It’ll be time well spent and you won’t regret it. Intake and let inspiration consume you. Meanwhile, check out Sheila E. rock out during her performance at the festival on Friday!

Motivation Monday


So, it’s only fair to blog about motivation for motivation Monday, right? I’m sure you’re probably at your job, struggling to stay awake, constantly looking at your clock, waiting for the magical hour to hit so you can GHOST out of there. Or maybe you’re so in love with your job it doesn’t even feel like work. Either way, the main things we should all focus on are PURPOSE and PASSION.

If you don’t know what your purpose is, just think about what your passion is. Purpose is often tied to passion, which is why folks tend to thrive in what they love and make a big impact. If you don’t know what your passion is, all you have to do is think about what drives you crazy (in a good way that is). What gets you going? What do you like to do that brings great joy and excitement? If you can answer any of those questions, you may have stumbled into your passion. For some its writing (like me), music (like me…again), cooking, etc.

Anyhow, the point is don’t get caught up chasing money just to pay bills. That’s not living. That’s mere survival. Ugh. Find your passion and pursue it with all you’ve got! Live on purpose! If you work at it relentlessly, the money will come (eventually). So get motivated and go HARD. You’ll thank yourself later!

Game Review: Inside

So, I played Inside the game for the first time a couple weeks before the 2017 DC Web Fest. We were testing various games to see which ones would be a great fit for the festival. As a console gamer, the PC gaming was totally foreign to me. The navigation was just….weird. Sounds silly, I know, but after a series of failed attempts to even make the character move correctly, one of my colleagues kind of gave me a little tutorial and BOOM, it was on!

Inside was really fun, I honestly enjoyed it. The story is about some poor little lonely kid who’s being hunted. It’s kind of an adrenaline rush, which is exactly what I look for in a game (without it why even bother to play it??). As I played the game, I can’t even tell you how many times the poor kid got shot dead- gotta love the reincarnation theory implemented in games. Without giving too much of it away, the key of success is staying out of the light in many situations (when you play it you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about) and knowing how to maneuver and navigate around danger. The game is in 2D, but there are various techniques you can use such as pushing and pulling objects, running, jumping, stooping (I think even crawling too), etc. You’ll definitely have to do some hiding, because when those murderers see you, your going to catch a cap. Just giving you a heads up.

I probably didn’t get beyond the first 5% of the game- after all- I was at work and had to move on to others tasks; however, I did enjoy the short bit of it I experienced. If you want deeper information about the game from a different perspective, you should check out the video below. Also, don’t forget- Inside is currently on sale at 40% for the Steam summer sale. Just an FYI 

I’m out!