If you are looking for some new webseries to add to your video queue, it’s time to go where the winners play.
From Los Angeles to Bilbao, the number of marquee Web festivals is growing at a rapid clip, yet despite their glory, many gold medal winners from these events find their work goes unnoticed after the applause dies down. Some of the best pieces featured at such festivals draw only a few thousand views (or fewer) on YouTube and other distribution channels.
Luckily for you, we’ve built a list of five 2014 Web festival winners to enjoy on the device of your choice—and share with your video-loving friends.
1) Destroy the Alpha Gammas
If Glee and Grease were to mate, with a touch of college sophomore attitude, you would have this familiar-yet-fun, singing/dancing webseries, which took home best international series and best ensemble cast at London’s Raindance Webfest. The plot surrounds the battle between the underdog, nice-girl sorority and the tough-as-nails, mean-girl Greeks (the eternal good versus evil trope). What sets it apart is the use of popular music (Adele, Kanye West) performed with style by Leah McKendrick.
This award-winning webseries has only 861 YouTube subscribers.
2) Often Awesome the Series: An ALS Love Story
NY Web Fest’s best webseries of 2014 tells the touching and wonderfully human, uplifting story of Timothy LaFollete and his wife Kaylan Szafranski in their battle with Timothy’s shocking ALS diagnosis. Beautifully and authentically told, the series is as much about the power of love between two people as it is a life-changing disease.
It is difficult to imagine Often Awesome only has 1,186 subscribers on YouTube.
3) Universal Dead
While I am not generally one for zombie shows, this webseries, which won the grand prize at the LAWebFest, carries with it some major Hollywood talent in the form of D.B. Sweeney, who ventures forth with his post-apocalyptic military squadron to visit the secret hiding place for a colony of walking dead. There are many familiar faces here and a high creepiness factor that will appeal to lovers of this modern monster drama.
If you subscribe to Amazon Instant Video, the three-part series (16 minutes in total) was added to the service in December 2014.
On YouTube, it has a less-than-robust 201 subscribers.
4) The Fuzz
Now entering its fourth year, the HollyWeb Festival has seen a number of popular webseries pass through its submission doors. The Fuzz, a show about a hapless puppet police force, is winner of last year’s prestigious top award as best webseries. The 15-part series is a mad video scientist’s mashup of the play Avenue Q, the Muppets, and Jimmy Kimmel’s classic Crank Yankers series. Some of the humor is a tad too campy for mainstream viewers, but overall it’s a clever work that has had a decent run on Yahoo Screen, although audience numbers have declined over the course of its lifespan.
Created in Spain, Libres is a politically charged story of a group of seven people who go to live in an abandoned village, where they attempt to bring social change through such efforts as launching a community farm. They run into issues raised by the landlord whose building they select to set up camp as well as police and other authorities.
The series, winner of best overall series at the Vancouver Web Fest, is in Spanish, but the 10-part series includes English subtitles. With only 2,208 subscribers on YouTube, this gem deserves some viral love.
Screengrab via Destroy The AGs/YouTube