3rd Annual Unofficial Google+ Film Festival (UGPFF) delivers the film festival experience to the world for free


December 11, 2013

From December 13 to December 15, 2013, the Unofficial Google+ Film Festival (UGPFF) will launch a 3-day online festival event to feature a curated selection of short films and web series.  The online and interactive festival will be free and available worldwide via the festival’s home on Google+ Facebook, YouTube, and the UGPFF web site.  It will include ten seperate 90 minute film and web series blocks, industry expert film panel discussions and interactive Q&A sessions with filmmakers throughout the event (http://tinyurl.com/ugpff3).

UGPFF is the first international film festival to engage audiences with simultaneous online and offline screenings around the globe.  As a companion to the interactive online experience, UGPFF will host and live stream a series of offline screenings with theater audiences in 7 cities throughout 5 different countries including New Zealand, Singapore, London, NYC, Seattle, Tijuana, and Los Angeles, CA.

“This year’s festival presents a tremendous opportunity for filmmakers to connect with fans as well as the industry.  Participating filmmakers from global locations will be able to answer questions following each screening in a Q&A session, without needing to leave the comforts of their homes,” said UGPFF founder Adam J. Cohen.  “We are empowering a community of passionate creators to expand their audience online and embrace their growing digital distribution opportunities.

78 filmmakers from 23 different countries are represented, with prominent projects including the web series, Darwin the Series, starring Karl Kenzler, and Christopher Gerson, directed by Carrie Preston, Slap starring Clany Brown and Mel Rodriguez, as well as the web series, On Begley Street, starring Ed Begley Jr.


For more information contact

Adam J. Cohen / Founder

Unofficial Google+ Film Festival



HK Webfest sets launch pad for new branded entertainment strategies via transmedia storytelling in Asia

First edition of the HK Webfest to launch during Le French May on June 5 with international conference and screenings.

HONG KONG (20/05/2013) Hong Kong’s first festival for web content, transmedia, branded entertainment and webseries will start on 5th of June as associated project of the annual Le French May.

Being a part of a global webfestival network – with such locations as Los Angeles, Marseille and Melbourne – the first edition of the Hong Kong Webfest will bring to town such international speakers as Frederic Josue (Head of Marketing at Havas Media), Mourgan Bouchet (Vice President at Orange) and Nicolas Thorin (Director of Internet advertising M6), among others, to present and discuss the future of the entertainment industry in regards to what technology and new business models can do to the way content creators develop the stories that best engage a connected global audience. Local Hong Kong speakers are also represented during the conference day including Oonagh Chan (Head of Broadcasting Services HK Jockey Club)​, Maryann Hwee (Executive Director of FringeBacker), Charlie Toller (Director and founder BrandBeatAsia)​​ and many more​.

Another important topic at the event will be how new cross-platform dependent projects and their finance structures are disrupting the Television/Film Theater market, creating immensely popular franchises and creating multiple connection points (and long-tail revenue) with their avid viewers.

Taking place at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (from the 5th of June to the 7th), the event provides a valuable forum for emerging talents from around the city, mainly focusing on new talents and innovative thinkers in the industry.

With such projects showcased like Guidestones (A HK financed Canadian production that has recently received the Emmy award for Best Digital Program), GwanGong VS Alien (an ICT and Freshwave award winner from Hong Kong) and a Heiward Mak microfilms special, attendees will have the opportunity to interact, discuss and critique the content present at the Webfest with the intent to further push the Hong Kong local creative industry into maintaining its stance as a media player in the global new media market.

Furthermore, for the first time in the city, this type of event will have its registration and ticketing system running through a NFC enabled platform, connected to the audience’s social media channels and helping the attendees in interacting with their channels and friends through local check-ins, event photos and branded lucky draws.

Festival director Marco Sparmberg explains, “The HK Webfest is at the intersection of cutting edge media technology, cross platform distribution, digital marketing and transmedia storytelling. All these sectors will merge eventually and we have to find new business models for the industry along this way.”

With support from Le French May, the Consulate general of France in Hong Kong and Macao, Alliance Française, Getty Images, Yesasia.com, Alive.cn, RealLifeConnect and several Hong Kong Startups, the event aims to become a staple in the content and  entertainment calendar, striving for a local connected, interactive and expansive creative community with a global reach.

Register for a free NFC enabled festival pass here:  http://reallifeconnect.com/event130/reg






香港網絡節作為一個全球性活動,其他地點有洛杉磯、馬賽和及墨爾本。本屆香港網絡節有國際講者如Frederic Josue(Havas Media市場營銷總監)、Mourgan BOUCHET(Orange副總裁)、尼古拉•索林(M6網絡廣告總監)等。本地講者有陳王靜敏女士(香港賽馬會主管廣播事務部主管),Maryann Hwee(FringeBacker執行董事),Charlie Toller(BrandBeatAsia董事和創始人)等。




HK Webfest online:


Additional press links:



About Haexagon Concepts

Haexagon Concepts is Hong Kong’s first transmedia storytelling and project development workshop dedicated to create and implement new forms of digital, immersive and interactive story formats into the Asian entertainment market. We help brands, filmmakers and media producers to find new business models for their stories within the world of merging and emerging media. Building targeted audiences is as essential as equipping content creators with the right technology and distribution strategy in order to connect them to their audience base.

For more information about Haexagon Concepts, visit http://haexagon.org




About Le French May

Organized by the Consulate General of France in collaboration with the Alliance Française, and with the support of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of Hong Kong, Le French May is one of the major art festivals in Hong Kong and Macau.

Dedicated to the promotion of the French arts and creativity, in order to facilitate the cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and France, Le French May is open to the general public for everyone’s enjoyment. The Festival has attracted over 3 millions of participants and spectators since its inception in 1993.

With more than 500 events, Le French May presents the widest choice of artistic disciplines, from visual arts to opera, classical and contemporary dance, music and theatre, as well as circus and cinema.

By developing Le French GourMay and Le French Fashion May, the Festival also invests the fields of fashion and culinary arts, and promotes new talented designers and chefs.

For more information about Le French May, visit http://www.frenchmay.com








For HK Webfest

Queenie Wong (festival manager)

r1020, New Commerce Centre,

19 On Sum Street, Shatin, Hong Kong


Tel: (852) 90324468 / Fax: (852) 35680637


For Le French May

Anne-Sophie LEHEC

Audiovisual attaché

Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau

25/F, Tower II, Admiralty Centre, 18 Harcourt Road, Central, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 3752 9982 / Fax: (852) 3752 9908


LA Webfest 2013 – defining the future of webseries

Short observations from the LA Webfest (March 28-31, 2013):

In 2010, LA based TV writer, producer and director Michael Ajakwe gave birth to a simple idea, creating a place for the new story format webseries, to be seen, find like-minded creators and exchange ideas. Soon, the concept took up international speed and a group of visionaries around French producer Jean-Michel Albert launched the Marseille Webfest in late 2011.

2013 marks the 4th anniversary of the LA Webfest and Ajakwe’s idea has grown into a global movement by now. This year we have 2 more webfests to follow his lead: Melbourne, Australia in July and ours in Hong Kong, June 5-7.


Not only did the movement grow, more webseries are produced worldwide today than ever. Vast communities fueled by Google Plus connecting internationally and the big players in the industry start to jump in on the game. Canada created various media funds webseries makers can tap into. Hollywood started launching digital departments with each of its studios, that are solely producing targeted webseries content with high production value. France sees a vivid content market where webseries get licensed into TV networks.

For the second time, the LA Webfest took place at the Radisson LAX, providing all events and screenings under one roof. The 4 day event saw a total of 220 series screened (each twice) as well as a large variety of panel discussions with makers and industry experts. Most notable were Henry Jenkins’ transmedia storytelling panel and the “woman taking control” round tables.

Festival director Ajakwe made a strong focus on how to turn a webseries into a TV show by hosting a seminar in which he showcased the adaptation of his webseries “Who…” into the soon to be aired show “Trophy Wife”. This topic was paramount to most round table discussions and private conversations as well.

Turning a webseries into a TV show seems to be the more realistic scenario in Hollywood as opposed to TV licensing content for straight syndication in Europe. Also, questions of how to monetize a webseries kept popping up throughout the 4 festival days but were barely answered comprehensively. While most proposed Kickstarter, product placements or private investors others went for self-financing their shows with day jobs or the 3 “F”s.


Only few I met were thinking about alternative business models in order to finance their shows. One of them was the team of Dark Pool, Karen Pollard and Rick Gott based out of Sacramento. Due to their educator background they give local film students the chance to participate in professional productions within their newly created studio Indie Episodic. While having a constant fundraiser running on Indiegogo they make finance deals with local businesses and offer web commercials in return. Such commercials are being produced by their students as well, which provides them with the opportunity to get their work seen and even onto TV. Pollard & Gott’s mission is to bring webseries to a mature audience. They want to create stories that are accessible to a demographic that is mostly ignored by commercial creators as it is a less tech savvy but sophisticated one.

The other end of the spectrum was Jill Golick with Ruby Skye P.I., based out of Toronto. Her mission is to serve another neglected demographics in web entertainment, teenagers. With her award-winning young detective show she was able to tap into the Canadian Independent Production Fund as well as secure some tax incentives which gave her show a comparatively generous budget. Prepping for season 3 right now, Ruby Skye holds a vast web universe of interactive clues from the show and a wide range of merchandise articles.

Opinions widely differed when it came to distribution platforms. While YouTube turns increasingly into a legal troublemaker for shows when it comes to music rights or other (often falsely flagged) copyright claims alternative platforms where seen as critical too. For most creators Koldcast seems to provide a good deal once the show is selected. Others criticized the platform for not providing topic separation between the shows, thus kids shows appear next to adult targeted ones.


General consensus, however, was to follow the model of the music industry. Michael Ajakwe brought up several times the comparison to Rap music in the 90s and how this new underdog style gradually moved into a fixed position between all other accepted popular music styles like Rock, Pop, Classic or the like. Webseries will eventually be seen in the same way, as a standalone medium next to film and TV.

While the medium matures finance models will too. At this time in history creators still think about micro payment models for the “end-user”, similar to the 99cents per music track iTunes offers. Eventually, a model needs to be created that is not inspired or oriented by outdated business practices of the old media like feature film or TV but rather adapts to the situation of mobile technology and audience behavior on both ends, online and offline.

On June 6, 2013, we will will discuss this point in further detail at the HK Webfest. As Asia holds a different stance within the new media entertainment landscape we will tackle the finance issue primarily from a branded content angle as film and TV industry have yet to fully comprehend and implement the concepts of transmedia and subsequent webseries.

For the first time, LA Webfest was selecting shows from Hong Kong to be screened and run in competition. A total of 10 awards went to Mr French Taste, Squattertown and Galaman.