From October 28 through November 1, explore the best of National and International Digital Media during The Baltimore Next Media Web Fest. This five-day festival in Baltimore showcases some of the very best of New Media Content. This year, the festival will be FREE and VIRTUAL for all! With 133 screenings, the festival will include blocks of short films, web series, music videos, VR content and screenplays by creators and writers from 22 different countries.
The festival will also include keynotes, panels, live Script Readings with Actors, live musical performances, a virtual Halloween Party and costume contest, an Awards Ceremony with Celebrity Presenters and a Zoom After-Party with Red Carpet speeches!
Some of the highlights of the Panel Discussions include:
Wednesday, Oct 28th; 8pm
AKILAH DIVINE will be performing on October 28th at 8pm at the very beginning of the Music Panel Discussion on Facebook Live! Akilah’s music video TRIBE is one of the Nominated Music Videos! Akilah Divine is a singer, spoken word artist, rapper, actress, model.
Maryland-based performers participating in the festival this year include: Folk Singer Luke James Shaffer and singer/songwriter Jay Stolar of Stolar Music. Luke will be performing for the festival at 3:30pm Sun – Nov 1st, 2020.
Friday, Oct 30th; 3:00pm
Moderator: Ricky Ramon, Howard University Theatre Professor, who has directed over 40 plays and musicals
Panelists: Nikki Blonsky, Leo Sheng, Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, Matthew Montelongo and Ivan Quintanilla
Nikki Blonsky (who played John Travolta’s daughter in the movie Hairspray, and has her own podcast – Nikki Nights), Leo Sheng (from The L Word: Q Generation), Broadway actor Matthew Montelongo (Daniel’s Husband), Actor Ivan Quintanilla (Gotham, The Blacklist) and Maryland-based Actress, and Helen Hayes Award winning Playwright (Klytemnestra: An Epic Slam Poem (2020), For Black Trans Girls…) – Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, who wrote and directed the episode of Homebound Web Series, which will be shown at the festival.
The LGBTQ Panel Discusion will be on Friday, Oct 30th from 3pm – 4:20pm right after the LGBTQ Block of Web Series episodes and Short Films that involve the LGBTQ Community. Including a special performance by Nikki Blonsky! You never know – it could be “Hello Baltimore” from her movie Hairspray!!
Homebound – by Round House Theatre Company: Round House Theatre brings together DC-area playwrights, actors, and designers for Homebound, an original web series that explores life under Stay-at-Home orders in the Nation’s Capital. Homebound stars Round House Theatre resident artists Craig Wallace and Maboud Ebrahimzadeh, plus seven local artists who lost work with Round House as a result of the cancellation of the theatre’s spring shows this season.
**Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi of the LGBTQ Panel is the writer and Director of the Homebound episode screening at the festival.
Black Lives Matter In Film and Entertainment Panel
Sunday, Nov 1st: 1pm
Moderator: Simmie Terrel
Panelists: Tray Chaney, Reece Odum, Dawn Halfkenny, Patrice Fisher
Be sure to watch the Black Lives Matter Panel for Film and Entertainment, November 1st at 1pm, hosted by actor and BNM Webfest Producer, Simmie Terrell. Including actors; Tray Chaney (The Wire, Saints and Sinners) and three of Tray’s co-stars from Bounce TV’s Saints and Sinner – Actresses Reece Odum (Vampire Diaries), Dawn Halfkenny (Tales, Atlanta), and Patrice Fisher (Zane’s Sex Chronicles, Charmed).
Actor Tray Chaney will also be performing for the festival and presenting awards during the awards ceremony!
Other panels included in the festival: Working During The Pandemic, International Creators Panels (which includes a project narrated by actress and activist Cynthia Nixon from Sex and the City), and a Comedy Panel which includes Actor / Comedian Wes Johnson (Capitols Announcer, seen in Veep, A Dirty Shame, and Head Of State), Comedian/ Actor Marc Unger (known for his Amazon Prime web series Thespian), and a Web Series Round Table Panel which includes Creators and Webfest Founders from around the World.
Local Web Series:
Amazon Prime Series – Thespian: Starring and created by Comedian Marc Unger and his wife Maria. A Gen X comic with a once promising career finds himself back in Baltimore living just a few yards from the apartment he left to pursue his dreams. He decides to hit “reset” and head back down the path from which he strayed-serious acting.
Stars: Marc Unger, Nikki Estridge, Sasha Carrera
Zoom Reads and Casting by Producer/Actress, Adrienne Nelson, AEA/SAG-AFTRA
There will also be a screenplay reading for the Short Screenplay and Pilot competitions. 34 SAG and AEA union and non union actors have been hired to do Zoom Script Readings for the Festival. Most of these actors are local actors from the DC/ Baltimore areas. Some of the Featured Actors you will be able to catch in the Zoom reads include: Felicia Curry (recently cohosted the Helen Hayes Awards with Rick Hammely), Wes Johnson (Comedy Panelist and Voice of the DC Caps), Rich Hammerly, and Louis E. Davis who just won a Helen Hayes Award for his work in “Top Dog/Underdog”. Mark Vincent, known for his work on Pentimento, Gotham and The Martyr Maker.
Some of the Selected scripts are written by Maryland-based writers, including Baltimore Writer Laura Poindexter, who has written a short film called Choose This Day.
Participants will be able to view these Script Reads on links on the official website during the festival.
National Highlights Include:
Country of Origin: India
Director: Saurav Vishnu
Writer: Monica Vishnu
Staring Narrator: Cynthia Nixon
TAILING POND, explores the awful price paid by the villagers of Jadugora for the success of India’s nuclear program – and the responsibility of the Uranium Corporation of India (UCIL) for the man-made plague that afflicts them.
“The Accolade Global Film FEstical United States, Award of Merit”
“Best Documentary Tailing Pond @NYIFF”
“Humanitarian Award Movie: Tailing Pond”
“Tailing Pond gets Jury Award at Jaipur International Film Festival”
“Free Spirit Film Festival grants Jury Award to Tailing Pond”
Screenwriter: Rickey Larke – Chicago/USA
During a second Tinder date a socially awkward swain and a beautiful old soul find common ground, after she uses him to build her new bed.
About Rickey Larke: In 2015 he joined HBO as an Executive Assistant in Programming where he supported Creative Executives until early 2019 on shows such as VEEP, BARRY, SILICON VALLEY, INSECURE, LOS ESPOOKYS, A BLACK LADY SKETCH SHOW and GAME OF THRONES.
In addition to his work at HBO, Rickey assisted Mark Romanek on JAY-Z’s music video THE STORY OF OJ and in association with Psycho Films produced the short film LA PETITE MORT, a 2019 Official Selection of Beverly Hills Film Festival and HollyShorts Film Festival. Most recently, Rickey supported Courtney Lilly as a Showrunner’s Assistant on BLACK-ISH (Season Six) and he’s now a Staff Writer on GROWN-ISH (Season Four).
“The Roads Most Traveled – Photojournalist Don Bartletti”
Director/Producer: Bill Wisneski, credits Shattered Dreams, Threatened, Breaking Point, Joshua Tree, Shadow of Drought
Editor: Chad Richmond, credits Shattered Dreams, Shadow of Drought
Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist Don Bartletti shares heart wrenching stories from his forty year career documenting history as it unfolds. Internationally recognized for his commitment to photographing the migration of Central Americans to the United States. Bartletti’s images reveal the never ending saga of illegal immigration by individuals desperate to improve their lives.
Featured Short Film
By Vivian Kerr
After getting fired, young single-mom Beth (Vivian Kerr of 20 Weeks, Raspberry Magic) finds herself living in her car and struggles to hide her homelessness from her estranged brother Ben (Anthony Rapp of Star Trek Discovery and Rent).
The festival was created four years ago by Elena Moscatt (local 487 Union crew member on The Wire, House of Cards, creator of the Ward-winning Click on This Web Series, and creator of the very first scripted web series on the internet, Jamie’s Way), and Neva Krauss (Actress, Medical Simulation Education Specialist at Johns Hopkins, Click On This Host, Public Speaker).
This year Elena is the Festival Director, and her producers are: Adrienne Nelson AEA/SAG-AFTRA (best known for “House of Cards” 4 seasons coached the Russian dialects for Lars Mikkelsen/PETROV and co starred in Season 3, played VERA MILLS in Season 2 of Amazon Prime’s “Thespian”), Simmie Terrel (Actor and Producer, known for “The Last Supper”, “Recurrence” and “Homeland”), Desi Velez (Best known for supporting roles on Television series: “October Road”, “Veep”, “The Haunting”, “Oz”, “Hack”, “Matlock”), and Jessica Rae Taylor (“Frankenstein’s Bride” in “Monster Rock Musical” Universal Studios, Host for “Click on This” TV Show, Best Known for “Community”, “The Loft”, “Hits”, “Wolves” and “Prom Dress”).
The BNM Webfest crew is working really hard to create an exceptional virtual Webfest experience! Make sure to join them from October 28 – November 1!