×

Webby’s log heavy hitters

Web kudos lure H'wood biggies

Hollywood bigwigs are giving their blessing to a new effort to bring Oscar glitz to the Web.

The Weinstein Co.’s Harvey Weinstein, Fox’s Jim Gianopulos and Showtime’s Matt Blank are among those who will sit on the jury for a film and video spinoff of Internet nods the Webbys.

The Webby Film & Video Awards will hand out kudos in about 15 categories, including, in an Oscar-ish turn, actor and picture. Drama, reality and animation will also be among the categories.

“The Oscars honor what premieres in the movie theater, and the Emmys honor original content that premieres on television,” Webby Awards exec director David-Michel Davies told Daily Variety. “But until now, there’s been nothing that honors original content that’s made specifically for the Internet.”

Organizers were quick to emphasize that only video created for the Web would be eligible; repurposed content that debuted on television or in other media would not qualify.

Popular on Variety

Submitted material is expected to come from a wide range of sources, from established video providers such as AtomFilms to individuals who created video blogs.

The Firm’s Rich Frank and the Sundance Channel’s Larry Aidem also will serve on the jury.

Kudos are being overseen by former Variety publisher Gerry Byrne, who also runs literary nods the Quill Awards.

Webby film and video prizes will be handed out in June at a separate Gotham ceremony and screening the night before traditional Webbys are awarded. Submissions are due in October; noms will be announced in April. No cash prize is associated with the Webbys.

When they launched a decade ago, the awards helped confer legitimacy on text and graphic achievements on the Web. They will now try to do the same for the online world of original video, which has been seen as a sprawling, sometimes uneven, mix of the polished and the homemade.

Bringing on biz power brokers is also a way of giving content more cachet in Hollywood.

Webbys are presented by the Intl. Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, a consortium of execs and creators with a digital bent. Members include media and Hollywood figures such as Richard Branson and Matt Groening.

More Film

  • The Speech

    Charades Rolls Into EFM with Pre-Sales on 'The Rosemaker,' 'The Speech' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Charades, the sales firm launched three years ago by former execs at Wild Bunch, Gaumont and Studiocanal, will roll into the Berlinale’s European Film Market with a raft of pre-sales on anticipated French projects, including “The Rosemaker” with Catherine Frot and Laurent Tirard’s “The Speech.” Charades will unveil the promos of both films, as well [...]

  • Dexter Fletcher73rd British Academy Film Awards,

    'Rocketman' Filmmaker Dexter Fletcher to Direct 'The Saint' Reboot (EXCLUSIVE)

    After the success of its Elton John biopic “Rocketman,” Paramount has set filmmaker Dexter Fletcher to direct another high-profile project for the studio. Fletcher will helm “The Saint,” a reboot of its 1997 action thriller that starred Val Kilmer. The globe-trotting adventure is based on the 1920s novel series written by Leslie Charteris. Seth Grahame-Smith [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Jury Deliberations Begin in Harvey Weinstein Rape Trial

    Jury deliberations in the rape trial of Harvey Weinstein began Tuesday. After a six-week trial, a 12-member panel of New Yorkers will now decide if the former movie mogul goes free or spends the rest of his life behind bars. The case is considered to be a landmark moment for the #MeToo movement in Hollywood, [...]

  • Rory KennedyDiscovery 'Above and Beyond: NASA'S

    Boeing 737 Max Disaster Series in Works From Rory Kennedy, Imagine Documentaries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy is teaming with Imagine Entertainment for a new series about the tragedy and subsequent scandal over the defunct Boeing 737-Max airplane, sources tell Variety. Kennedy and her husband and producing partner, Emmy-nominated writer Mark Bailey, are teaming up with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s unscripted division at Imagine, run by Justin [...]

  • Otto Rehhagel, second from left, the

    Piece of Magic Takes Rights to Soccer Documentary 'King Otto'

    Piece of Magic Entertainment, the distributor behind recent docs “Apollo 11” and “Marianne and Leonard: Words of Love,” has picked up international theatrical distribution rights for the underdog sports tale “King Otto.” The doc follows the improbable path of the 2004 Greek National Soccer team, which went from never winning a single tournament match to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content