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Rio Web Fest 2016 - There's a whole digital world south of the equator

Friday, December 9th 2016

It took a while to write this review about the Rio Web Fest 2016: first of all because I was sleep deprived and I had also a light jet leg to recover from; and secondly because I was trying to find the right words to describe the feelings that this Brazilian web fest left me. I'm not sure to have find them all, but I'll try.

I spent one week in Rio de Janeiro, the first part of my trip in Copacabana and the days of the festival in Jacarepaguà (it took almost the entire festival to be able to say this neighborhood correctly) and from one side to the other it looked like a complete different country: definitely more Carioca the first one, of course more globalized the Olympic district where the festival was held. This is the first thing I can tell about Brazil: its internal contradictions are in clear light, a struggle between growth and poverty, so typical of one of the BRICS country of the world. 
I had the chance to talk with people from Rio de Janeiro, San Paolo, Brasilia and I was pretty impressed by one sentence that seems to join them all: "We'll leave the country after the degree". No "if" or "maybe", just the awareness of what they're going to do after. This thing might you think that the digital series world in the country can be pretty poor also, and here's the biggest oversight ever.

Maybe it's because without a drama there can't be any kind of arts: no literature, no paintings, no musics and of course no digital series. We, in Europe, are not well-aware of the incredible amount of web series made in Brazil just in the past two or three years. Comedy, drama, sci-fi, a lot of LGBT series: there's a full package of series that are unique and special, in a way or another. Of course, as in the rest of the world, there are always better series, with budget and technique, but by looking at this Brazilian products, they remind me of one of the peculiar feature of mine Italian people: doing the best with nothing is the main rule of this game. When you feel the urgency of telling a story, there's nothing you can do to stop it and neither a lack of budget can prevent you from find the way and do it despite everything. 

(From the left: Joel Bassaget, Jean Michel Albert, Pedro Levati,
Leandro Silva, Young-Man Kang, Riccardo Cannella, Rose of Dolls, Oliver Mend)
But if there are so many Brazilian good web series, why do we never heard anything about them? Simple and annoying answer: money, most of all. The exchange rate between our coins are something around 3,60 reais per 1 euro; so for them a 50 euro entry fee are a lot of Brazilian money and this can be a true obstacle for them, in order to spread the series in other festival. But let me tell you this: we should find a way to open the gates to this country (to the entire South America), because we're missing a huge part of good web series and also something else.

This "something else" is the point of this article, the reason why it took so long for me to find the right words to describe my experience at the Rio Web Fest: a wonderful festival, by the way, with a good organization, interesting panels and a good professionalism in holding an event like this, with  a lot of foreign guests and a huge amazing venue available, the Cidade das Artes. Leandro, Daniel, Thor and all the staff did a very good job and the Rio Web Fest, at its second edition, can be yet seen as a grown-up festival, definitely one of the biggest and best of the web fests circuit. The secret of its success, anyway, is the audience.

Guys, I have to tell this and it costs me a lot, considering that I also manage a web fest, an Italian one: the Brazilian audience is absolutely A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. They've animated a wonderful award-ceremony, the most rock n' roll one I ever seen and it looked like there was Bono Vox or Chris Martins on the stage and not Leandro Silva dressed up like Santa Claus. Most of this creators knew each other from just a couple of days, but when their names was yelled from the staged, invited to receive an award, it looked like each one was long time friend or parent to the winners. You could feel passion, an absurd passion that animated that crowd: they put in the Rio Web Fest the words "web", with their job, and the word "fest" with all their fondness. Something you can't easily forget: It didn't seem I was at a digital series festival... Listening to the crowd, I went to the fuc***g Oscars!

So, congratulations to everyone: owners, hosts, staff, creators, producers, journalists, actors, winners, everyone was part of something amazing; they created a four-days festival of all respect, that I can only hope to see again next year. Yeah, for us it's quite a journey to get down there, but every mile it's worth: there's a whole digital world south of the equator and we didn't know, but now we do and for sure we'll never forget about it. 

Muito obrigado, galera! Até logo e parabens!


Here's the full list of the winners of this Rio Web Fest 2016. You can also find it on the official website of the web fest


Best Comedy Series - Crises Inúteis (FRA)
Best Writing - The Dump (CAN)
Best Directing - A SOLTEIRONA - Como sobreviver ao maior pé na bunda do século (BRA)
Best Female Performance - Bárbara Martins - Crises Inúteis (BRA)
Best Male Performance - Johnnas Oliva - A Vida \o/ de Lucas Batista (BRA)
Best Ensemble Performance - AtuRando Hollywood (BRA)


Best Drama Series - Todo Tempo do Mundo (BRA)
Best Writing - Psychosomatic (ARG)
Best Directing - Todo Tempo do Mundo (BRA)
Best Female Performance - Ana Paula Tabalipa - O Quarto ao Lado (BRA)
Best Male Performance - Arthur Chermont - Romeu & Romeu (BRA)
Best Ensemble Performance - Romeu & Romeu (BRA)


Best Action Series - Brutal (FRA)
Best Writing - Arthur (CHE)
Best Directing - Imaginário (BRA)
Best Female Performance - Giulia Pamina - SUPER (BRA)
Best Male Performance - Emmanuel Bilodeau - Exode (CAN)
Best Ensemble Performance - Brutal (FRA)


Best Documentary Series - Contagem Regressiva (BRA)
Best Variety Series -  Vidas em Transição (BRA)
Best Educational - Series Product (FRA)
Best Directing (Non-Fiction) -  Drauzio Comenta (BRA)
Best Writing (Non-Fiction) -  INTERIORES (BRA)
Best Performance (Non-Fiction) -  Paula Varejão - 7 Dias no Atacama (BRA)


Best Animated Series - O Surreal Mundo de Any Malu (BRA)


Best Cinematography - Brutal (FRA)
Best Editing - Discocalypse (GER)
Best Costume Design - Ren: The Girl with the Mark (AUS)
Best Production Design - The Pantsless Detective (USA)
Best Makeup - Imaginário (BRA)
Best Soundtrack - Contagem Regressiva (BRA)
Best Special FX - Onda Zero (BRA)
Best Sound Design - Imaginário (BRA)
Best Production - Discocalypse (GER)


Best Diversity Series - Romeu & Romeu (BRA)
Best Original Idea - Ghost Cam (ITA)
Best Music Video - Trio Ternura - Vem Pra Mim (BRA)
Best Dance Video - Move On (JAP)
Incentive to Brazilian Digital Production - O Encanto da Sereia (BRA)


Best Vlogger -  Fotografando à Mesa (BRA)
People's Choice Award - Vem Pra Mim - Trio Ternura (BRA)
Best Brazilian Series - Todo tempo do mundo (BRA)
Best International Series - Brutal (FRA)


Super Project FRANCE - Imaginário - Season 2 (BRA)
Super Project BRAZIL - Minas no Mic (BRA)

- WSWC -

Web Series World Cup 2016 Winner - Arthur (CHE)


Melbourne Web Fest 2017 - Web Colaborativa (BRA)
Roma Web Fest 2017 - Nerd of the Dead (BRA)
Webfest Berlin 2017 - SUPER (BRA)
Buenos Aires Web Fest 2017 - Product (FRA)
Korea Web Fest 2017 - O Surreal Mundo de Any Malu (BRA)
Bilbao Web Fest 2017 - Cidade do Sol (BRA)
Sicily Web Fest 2017 - Meninos Tristes (BRA)
Wendie Web Fest 2017 - Meninos Tristes (BRA)
LA Web Fest 2017 - MORDE A LÍNGUA (BRA).
WebFest Montreal 2017 - Imaginário (BRA)
Miami Web Fest 2017 - Cidade do Sol (BRA)
Tuscany Web Fest 2017 - Ren : The Girl with the Mark (AUS), Discocalypse (GER) and Cidade do Sol (BRA)


Marseille Web Fest 2017 - Imaginário (BRA)

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