Young Man Kang ㅣ Founder & Executive Director
We are very excited to hold the 5th Seoul Webfest on August 21 - 23, 2019.
Compared to film festivals, webfests are “film” festivals geared specifically toward web series and other online videos. They are definitely the new kids on the block, and they’re springing up much faster. Now, there are many webfests in the world to bring the web series community together from all over the world.
According to one of the communities, The Web Series World Cup was started to collect the results from the best webfests around the world, to publish a table of the most awarded web series of the year and to give to the audience a live and up-to-date listing of the best programs. The first edition in 2015, included 7 webfests and ranked a total of 310 web series from 19 countries. In 2016, with a circuit of 15 webfests and ranked 650 programs from 32 countries. 2017 had 19 webfests. Many more have been added in the past two years.
Online and smartphone viewing is a global trend because every country has an increasing number of smartphone users. At the same time, they need content to watch through the smartphone. Web series fit this lifestyle of entertainment viewing with shorter episodes. With smartphone's evolving technology and the speed getting faster, smartphone users are now able to watch clear images without lagging.
Within a few years, the Korean web series industry increased in production 4 to 5 times and the view count increased 6 to 7 times within those same years. With these results, it means there is a very big movement within the Korean content production. Thus, we believe these web series will not only be viewed in Korea, but will have viewers overseas as well.
KPOP has exploded worldwide with BTS topping global charts. Cannes Film Festival's top honor was awarded to the South Korean film, Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho. I think web series have the potential to also be popular because Korean artists have a lot of talent. We are able to create good storytelling through web series. Korean hardware (like smartphones) are popular all over the world. Combining hardware and web series software will make a very strong business model to promote this form of entertainment.
With the upcoming 5th edition of Seoul Webfest, we will be selecting the best of the best from 28 countries and South Korea. Not only will we be bringing international series and their creators to South Korea, the Seoul Webfest will be sharing Korean web series with its partners around the world through direct selection.