2 - newletter nzwf20 2
Hi reader

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2020. With 9% of the year already in the rearview mirror, we're probably among the last people to wish you a Happy and Prosperous 2020, but we mean it no less than everybody who got in before us.

After a relaxing break, we're pleased to say that we're now up and running again, and have pushed open the doors to our 2020 edition. Be among the first to share your wares with us this year, by submitting your shows now via FilmFreeway. We welcome live action and animated web series, web docs, pilots and VR/360 projects.

We're also kicking off the year with a call for volunteers to join the #NZWF20 team. Our workloads vary, but we could happily use a couple of hours of your time each week - usually from the comfort of your own sofa. This year we're particularly looking for people with skills in design (web or print) or ability with languages (reading/writing more than speaking), but we also have plenty of opportunities to help deal with submissions and general admin.

An interest in web series is important, as you'll get to sample a whole bunch of them during the year, but we do most of our work remotely, so it doesn't matter where you're based. If you do happen to live in Auckland, we try to catch up once a month. If you're interested, drop us a line at [email protected].

All Over The Place
It's too early in the year to be reporting on festival activity because none of our partners have run their 2020 editions as yet, but a few are limbering up.

The line-ups for the upcoming editions of Bogota Web Fest and Buenos Aires Series are announced, with well over a dozen #NZWF19 shows in the mix across the two fests. Good luck to all the selections, including Bogota-bound NZ series Daughters of the Migration and Sui Generis, plus 3D title Fan Girl.

The International Series Awards has announced its nominees, with the ceremony to run at the beginning of April. Good luck to all the nominees, which include #NZWF19 finalists People Like Us (Singapore) and True Dating Stories (below, Canada). Between them, the two shows have 14 shots at glory.

WebFest Berlin is trialling a new approach this year. Rather than focus its deadlines around the traditional approach of increases in submission fees, the festival now has genre-focused deadlines. The fest will announce genre winners monthly from June, all leading to a grand final in early December.

Learn all about the changes here. Berlin's first submission deadline is for pilots, and hits 13 March.

If you haven't yet come across it, Short Form & Indie TV is a new magazine covering the wonderful world of web series and related issues, published by the founder of the Web Series World Cup, Joël Bassaget. It's well worth a look.

Here at home
In NZ, April's Big Screen Symposium is beginning to roll out its line-ups, making it the first major industry home fixture of the year.

Congrats to producer Robin Murphy, who's been named in Diversity in Cannes' list of the Top 10 Filmmakers of the Decade. Robin has produced, among many other things, #NZWF18 winner Pot Luck.


Although we've been taking a break since wrapping up #NZWF19, we haven't been totally idle. In between slip, slap and slopping, gruelling strolls to the fridge and back, and our director dipping a very beach-unready body into the briny, we've put in some effort to reconnect with our 2019 partner festivals and reach out to potential new friends.

We're happy to say that we've confirmed swap deals for 2020 with returning partner festivals Apulia, Bogota, die Seriale, London Short Series, Melbourne, Miami, New Jersey, Ozark Mountain, Russia's Realist, Seoul, Sicily, Stareable, Sydney, Tel Aviv and Toronto - as well as the Asia Web Awards. We've also added new swap deal partnerships with the Montreal Digital and Santa Monica fests.

Those deals represent significant opportunities for NZ shows to be seen, enjoyed, and hopefully nominated or awarded, around the world. We're still in discussions with other festivals, and have confirmed five other festival partnerships which won't include swap deals.

Wrap Your Eyeballs Around
Snack on the winner of direct selection to Sydney Web Fest from #NZWF19, Tom Neunzerling's Comedians Eating Plants. The first title we confirmed for #NZWF20 was our selection from last year's Ozark Mountain Web Fest. You could wait until this November to see it, or you could warm up for Valentine's Day with Olivia Accardo's One True Loves right now.

For NZ viewers, a couple of local shows on TVNZOD well worth dipping into are Chye-Ling Huang and Cole Jenkins' Life is Easy (below) and the full season of James Watson and Vince McMillan's winning pilot from TVNZ's New Blood competition, Kura.

4 - newsletter nzwfopportunities
Check out our calendar for upcoming application and submission deadlines, festivals, and NZ industry events.

Bargains of the month are free submissions on offer from a pair of Spanish festivals: Carballo Interplay (deadline 16 February) and Valencia's Cinema Jove (deadline 3 April).

Closer to home, our good friends at Doc Edge have announced their programme of Clinics for 2020. The programme kicks off later this month, and all the info is here.

As always, if you'd like to list your web festival submission deadline, date(s), or NZ screen industry funding/submission deadlines and event dates, just send the info to [email protected] and we'll add it to the calendar.

You can find our previous newsletters here.
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