The Web Series World Cup (WSWC), joined by the New Jersey WebFest, have announced the creation of the Audio Fiction World Cup, giving a new opportunity for audio fiction creators to showcase their work to industry professionals, have their contributions measurably quantified, and gain far-reaching exposure on a global scale.
Modeled after the WSWC, the Audio Fiction World Cup brings together a circuit of international festivals that accept fiction podcasts, actual play podcasts, and standalone audio content. The World Cup awards points for each acceptance, award nomination, and award win. The results are tallied and posted throughout the year, with an Audio Fiction World Cup Champion awarded at the end of the calendar year’s festival circuit.
“Audio is the future of the indie market,” said Joël Bassaget, founder of the WSWC. “We are thrilled to launch the Audio Fiction World Cup to give those creators the ability to showcase their work on an international scale. The Web Series World Cup has been a huge success since we launched it in 2015. Our tagline is ‘Making Talent Count,’ and indeed that is what we’ve done, in the most literal sense. We give web series and other independent creators a forum to conclusively highlight their achievements in the festival circuit. Many web series creators have used their score in the World Cup to attain sponsorships, partnerships, and distribution deals. Bringing those same opportunities to the Audio Fiction creators is an exciting new step.”
Fiction podcasts are new to the web festival space, as they got their first “film festival experience” in 2021 as part of the New Jersey WebFest. Following an incredibly positive response in NJ, several web festivals took note of the varied and exciting content, as well as the vibrant creators, that exist in the audio space. Those festivals have since joined New Jersey in creating an audio fiction wing to their respective festivals. This collective of webfests will compose the Audio Fiction World Cup.
“When we added fiction podcasts to our content in 2021, we knew we were tapping into something special,” said Neem Basha, founder and president of the New Jersey WebFest. “This community of creators is dynamic, endlessly imaginative, and beautifully diverse. We felt they deserved the film festival experience, and we are so excited to work with Joël Bassaget and our fellow web festival curators to create the Audio Fiction World Cup. Joël has been a consummate supporter of indie content for many years, and this is the latest example.”
The Audio Fiction World Cup will be an annual happening, with the first taking place in the 2023 web festival circuit. Below is the first group of global festivals that are taking part in the Audio Fiction World Cup so far, with links to their submission platforms. Other festivals are expected to join in the future.
* New Jersey WebFest, open for submissions; event date September 21-24, 2023
* Seoul Webfest, open for submissions; event date August 17-19, 2023
* Los Angeles Webfest, open for submissions; event date May 4-6, 2023
* Apulia Webfest, open for submissions; event date September 1-3, 2023
* Baltimore Next Media Webfest, open for submissions; event date November 2-5, 2023
* Minnesota Webfest, open for submissions; event date October 2-5, 2023
* New Zealand Webfest, opening submissions on January 31, 2023; event date November 5-12, 2023
* Miami Webfest, not yet open for submissions; date TBA
* Rio Webfest, not yet open for submissions; date TBA
Creators who wish to take part in the Audio Fiction World Cup can submit to as many of the participating festivals that they wish and, if they are selected and/or nominated for or win any awards, they will earn points and earn a place on the World Cup standings, which are updated and reported publicly at the end of every month on which a festival takes place.
Joining Bassaget and Basha in leading the launch of the Audio Fiction World Cup is multi-hyphenate creator Ned Donovan, Executive Board Member and the Chair of the Fiction Podcast wing at the New Jersey WebFest. It was Donovan who initially proposed to Basha the idea of adding fiction podcasts to the New Jersey WebFest, and he continues to champion the rise of Audio Fiction in the web festival circuit.