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!

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 2.43.46 PM.png

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.

 

Est. 2013...Our baby is growing up!

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 11.40.36 AM.png

Its official, we're back it again, seeking a home for DC Web Fest 7! It was nice having a few months off from planning, but it's pretty exciting to get back into the groove of it all! 

Ayyyy our baby (DC Web Fest) is growing up so fast, what is a parent to do?!? It all happened so suddenly. Otessa Ghadar conceived the idea upon realizing the area's urgent need for a platform to showcase and promote the best of indie digital content. Upon carrying the new baby and enduring some labor pains that accompany the launch of a new venture, DC WEB FEST WAS BORN! Perfectly healthy, bringing joy, entertainment, and inspiration through digital content to people all around the world. Nothing makes a parent prouder than to see their baby making a difference, right?!?

To celebrate DC Web Fest's 7th birthday, we need to pick the PERFECT venue at the PERFECT location so our guests can have a PROFOUND experience. Much research to do, many places to consider. Stay tuned as the planning for DC Web Fest, Edition 7 unfolds! 

Love & Peace. 

 

DC Web Fest EDITION 7!

Cam Willams (left) & Romeo Carbarga (right) of the DC Web Fest Team. 

Cam Willams (left) & Romeo Carbarga (right) of the DC Web Fest Team. 

Here we are, August 1st. It is so amazing how time FLIES. It seems like just yesterday the DC Web Fest team was in the development stage for DC Web Fest 6. This exact time last year, the team was researching and location scouting to find a home for DC Web Fest 6. Then came the web development part, the sponsorship hunt, recruiting top-notch industry professionals to serve on the advisory board, etc. to build up to the amazing experience we all had on April 6 & 7. Its crazy that we're about to jump back into it all over again :) Exciting it is. 

How can we scale up this year? How can we provide our attendees with a remarkable experience that they'll never forget? How can we scale up our content? WHERE IS THE HOME FOR DC WEB FEST EDITION 7?? All things we have to consider and figure out over the next several months. Nonetheless, one thing we are sure about is we're SCALING IT UP and doing it BIG! Stay tuned folks! 

Love & Peace.  

Eighth Grade Press Screening- Thanks to The Wing!

All photo credit: Orla Conway 

All photo credit: Orla Conway 

The Wing DC, a co-working space for women who demonstrate excellence in their work, graciously invited their members to an exclusive screening of "Eight Grade" at E St. Cinema. Many thanks to the Wing for the awesome opportunity to screen this brilliant film! Also, may thanks to our friends Orla Conway and her beautiful mother, Peggy Pridemore (the locations guru for all movies that are shot in the mid-atlantic), who attended the screening on our behalf.

They had nothing but positive comments about the movie! Check out Orla's quotes: 

"Really fun, the panel afterwards was cool. It's definitely another white teen coming of age story but this one was VERY believable. The awkwardness was played so well that it had the audience verbally cringing and calling out with exclamations of advice lol." 

"I think we've ALL felt similarly to the protagonist when we were 13."

"They cover school shooting preparation drills and sexual assault in a very relatable way that most young women experience."

Our friend Hena Ghaznavi did not attend but she said this:
"Yeah Bo Burnam is a YouTube comedian I really like and he wrote and directed the film, so I knew it'd have some poignant moments."

I think that's all you need to know to GET OUT AND GO SEE THE MOVIE TOMORROW! Visit https://tickets.eighthgrade.movie/ for showtimes and tickets.

Meanwhile, enjoy the below photos from the screening at E St. Cinema (click the photo to scroll to the next).