Thursday, July 30, 2009

Web Series Get Their Due At This Year's Independent TV Fest

The fourth Independent TV Festival gets under way Thursday with a big nod toward the growth of web-based series.

After competing in a separate category at the ITVFest over the past two years, this year projects created specifically for the web will face off in the same categories against projects still geared toward TV.

It's an acknowledgement of how quickly Internet series have hit the mainstream, even in the four years since ITVFest launched, said event executive director A.J. Tesler. After all, YouTube was in its infancy when ITVF began in 2006.

"We're treating web series equally to TV," Tesler said. "For us to make that switch in so short a period of time says how important the web stuff has become."

This year's ITVFest has also added a festival specifically devoted to mobile content, as well as a day devoted to international entries.

Held at the Laemmle Sunset 5 from July 31 to Aug. 6, the ITVFest has seen its submissions triple since its first outing, Tesler said.

This year, thesp Kevin Pollack, who's behind the web series "Kevin Pollack's Chat Show," will receive the event's "Independent Award." The ITVFest will screen 45 projects this year, and also include panels on a variety of topics.

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