Premier queer global streaming network, Revry, celebrated the closing night of its 3rd annual Out Web Fest (OWF), the first queer web festival celebrating the best in independent LGBTQ digital storytelling. After opening the fest at YouTube Space LA with the West Coast premiere of the acclaimed HBO documentary film, BELIEVER and celebrating the annual Revry Visibility Awards honoring YouTube sensations Ingrid Nilsen, Miles McKenna, Miles Jai and LGBTQ advocate organization LOVELOUD, the festival rocked on through the weekend at The London West Hollywood hotel with screenings, panels and two Powerhouse Industry Pitchfests. But the Closing Night Awards was the party not to be missed. With a diverse group of international winners including DragRace icon, BeBe Zahara Benet for her world premiere video, “Jungle Kitty”, the party went into insanity as BeBe then performed live for the first time her hit “Jungle Kitty” (see Winner’s List below with their Fest Diaries).
Shared Diaries from International Winners and Attendees
Out Web Fest Jury Award for Music
BeBe Zahara Bebet (from Cameroon)
“It was an amazing weekend. I was doing other press in NY and then flew to LA to perform at Revry’s Out Web Fest and world premiere my newest video “Jungle Kitty”, very exciting. I loved how inclusive the experience was at the festival. It’s important to show more visibility, and there was such a diverse group of artists with so much struggles, different kinds of walks of life and allies. It was great to see other voices being represented and not be the only one to carry the torch.
There were creators from many countries – artistry is very universal, it is not a nationality thing. I love that fact. So many amazing stories that need to be shared and the community needs to get behind these stories. I’m humbled to work with Revry. With their quality of the content, they give my work a platform and voice.
When I was writing “Jungle Kitty”, the bridge, it’s a frame of mind. It’s that color of me that is unapologetic, ferocious, not allowing negative energy around me, but about being free and fun. I don’t want to apologize, not for how I walk, talk or what…this is a universal message of owning our power. People relate to that, and I’m happy people can feel that way. To sing my song live on stage at Out Web Fest and see that reaction was really encouraging.
Revry and Out Web Fest have shown such incredible support for the work, and as artists, it is all about the support!”
Out Web Fest Audience Choice Award
Rachel Kirkpatrick (from Canada)
“I just had the best weekend ever. It started at 4:44 am Friday morning when I woke up to take three trains, two flights and a cab ride to get from Vancouver, BC (Canada) to L.A’s 3rd annual Out Web Fest. After 15 hours of travel I pulled up in my basic yellow cab wearing chucks and a hoodie to the swankiest hotel I had ever seen.
I left my toddler at home with my baby daddy (thank God for co-parenting) so more than being excited for a festival I was excited to only have to clothe, feed and bathe one person for the weekend (me).
I had a number of fantasies about what it would be like to be on the red carpet with cool celebs like Katie fucking Stuart. But none of those fantasies, had me being friends with everyone I met and had me feeling like I left a part of my heart in LA.
I felt like I was going to be a kid in a candy store around so many amazing collaborators and content creators that were way out of my league. But what I didn’t expect was to feel like a celebrity. I was mostly just grateful and amazed that I got to actually talk to the organizers of the event, and that everyone already knew who we were. That was utterly surreal.
I got to pitch to 22 Hollywood execs, a story about my life story, and some of them really loved it and gave me their contact info before I could even get through my pitch. I have about 6-7 execs now that I’m excited to establish a connection with. That’s what I feel the weekend was about; connection. There is something about sharing your story that is such a vulnerable experience, and when you are around others who are doing the same thing, you automatically meet each other at a level that is just really honest and raw. No one is trying to hide anything.
In this industry, things can be really cut throat and hard, but there was such a sense of humanity at the festival in the stories that we heard and the characters that we witnessed together which made the event have so much HEART. I feel nothing but gratitude for the weekend I just experienced and the LGBTQ2IA community at large. There were so many experiences that were represented on screen that I didn’t realize were shared.
I could not believe that Inconceivable won the Audience Choice award amidst such a talented line-up of series’. Winning was the icing on top of the cake of a perfectly balanced weekend of work and play. It really truly was an honor to be a part of this event. I can’t wait for next year! Thank-you so much Out Web Fest and the Revry team for making this happen and bringing this community of vibrant, and open individuals together. It was such a freaking blast.”
Out Web Fest Honorable Mention
Alice Carvahlo (from Brazil)
“Being at Out Web Fest was a memorable experience from start to finish. My journey began in December 2017, when Revry CEO Damian Pelliccione announced on the stage of the City of Arts during the Rio Web Fest that SEPTO had been chosen to participate in the Out Web Fest with all expenses paid.
Hollywood is the center of the audiovisual industry. It is where any creator dreams to be. The name itself, "Hollywood", attributes like a stamp of quality. It is the reflection of approval in a global seal. SEPTO participated in festivals in Asia and South America, but the United States was still a closed area for us, unimaginable (precisely because it is everyone's dream).
From the region in Brazil we came from, it is not common to dream so high. In addition to the discrimination of race, gender and sexual orientation, we also face a daily kind of xenophobia against the culture produced in the northeast of the country. How to dream so high, living so far in a country so full of discrimination and having only two reais in the pocket?
The cold weather we felt throughout our stay was counterbalanced by the warmth of the people, the respect, the kind words and a festival full of diversity in every way. SEPTO was displayed on Saturday and the reviews were very positive.
Sunday, I was asked to announce the fest’s Audience Award (which includes an all expense paid trip to Rio de Janeiro for Rio Web Fest), it was as if I were living that December day again. The internet has brought people together and made dreams possible, whatever their size, and that is beautiful to watch…and to stream.
SEPTO was given an Honorable Mention at the awards. And after all this, SEPTO returns home with a certainty: the strength of the cinema is really in the collective. SEPTO will debut in June on Revry. This is the biggest prize!”
Out Web Fest Powerhouse Industry Pitchfest Winner
Timothy Chesney (from UK)
”My journey to LA from the UK nearly didn't happen. On the way to the airport, me and my partner lost our luggage with our passports and tickets. Looking at each other in horror at the train station, our dream holiday to Los Angeles seemed impossible. Skip forward a week and I'm in The London Hotel West Hollywood, pitching to industry execs that have been a huge inspiration to me and my career. Thanks to Revry and Out Web Fest, I had the opportunity of a lifetime!
In the U.K, I have recently been commissioned by Sky to write and direct a comedy called Charity Shop Sue along with my twin brother Matthew Chesney and longtime collaborator Stu Edwards. The show features an incredible all female cast starring Selina Mosinski and produced by Spool Films, and BAFTA winners Vicky McClure and Shane Meadows.
This is a really exciting point in my career and I feel extremely lucky that OWF Pitch Fest just so happened to be scheduled during my trip to L.A. The stars were very much aligned.
The top-level industry execs gave me some really valuable feedback on my project. My pitch was for an LGBTQ+ animated comedy show set in a dystopian fantasy world. An important strand of the show looks at non-corporeal identity. I brought business cards, a 1-page pitch, a 10-page pitch book and a 1-minute sizzle reel. You never know what people will think of your ideas. I did feel that they all understood how important this show is to me and my passion and drive to make it happen.
I also got chance to see all the other talented content creators that are part of the Revry’s Out Web Fest programming. It was moving to see such inspiring, brave and authentic work being created across the globe and brought together by Revry. I can't deny some pieces made me howl and others choked me up!
At the Sunday evening awards ceremony, me and my boyfriend were chatting with some other guests when I heard my name called out. I was knocked for six and completely didn't expect to win. I am really looking forward to using the prize of a studio day at Shamrock Productions. I visited the studio recently and can't wait to return to L.A and utilize the impressive facilities. My mind will be ticking until then to figure out making some magic in that space.
The whole experience has been fully empowering. This is a really important time for LGBTQ+ voices! I can't wait to see how we populate the film, TV and music landscape in the near future, with our original, and bold stories."
Drama Competition Attendee
Levin Hübner & Fabian Wallenfels (from Germany)
When we received the invitation for Out Web Fest we didn’t hesitate to book our flights – for us small town boys from Germany, an invitation to Hollywood doesn’t come every day!
It always seems a bit boring to state the obvious. Anyway: First Night in LA. Of course we’re standing up there at the Griffith Observatory. And it’s magical: It’s our first time up here, yet we’ve seen this hundreds of times before, together with some of the biggest stars and directors out there. On first sight, LA is just a gigantic, shiny waste of electric power. But looking closer, you start to realize that it consists of millions of smaller lights, and almost all of them are on the move. What an adventure to be one of these small lights wandering through LA for some days!
We always felt that our web series Stage Fright is a universal story and it was great to see that notion confirmed by the American audience appreciating the show. This makes the LGBTQ subculture so special – it’s a community that overcomes borders and language barriers.
Watching the program of Out Web Fest was a tremendous joy – it really striked how the niche has been growing up in recent years and doesn’t have to shy away behind mainstream media. Digital queer content is all about good storytelling and interesting characters, providing a positive representation of LGBTQ life in our society. We were really honored to be selected in such a strong competition with our own web series Stage Fright, and to be part of the Revry family in this shiny city called LA!
It was a crazy trip, coming to LA from Germany for just a weekend, but it was worth every single one of five thousand miles (and even more in kilometers).
Other winners include: