We are absolutely delighted to share that earlier today, our Creator/Director, Sally McLean, was the recipient of the Michael Ajakwe Award for Innovation at the 2020 Sydney Web Fest. An Emmy Award-winning writer and producer, Michael Ajakwe Jr was a trailblazer in the web series world. A creator, festival director and all-round cheerleader of all things web series, he was a huge influence on the sphere right up until his passing in 2018. He is sorely missed by all of us. Many festivals in the webfest world now have awards named in his honour and it is a a great honour to be a recipient of this award at any of the festivals who have this award as part of their line up.
Sally has worked predominately in the web series sphere as a writer/director since 2015, when she created Shakespeare Republic. Apart from now producing three seasons of the series, she was also General Manager of Melbourne WebFest in 2018, has served as a jury member at the NJ Webfest and the Atom Awards (on several juries, including their Web Series category) and has appeared on Panels as a moderator or guest at various film festivals and conferences including Melbourne WebFest, NYC WebFest and St Kilda Film Festival, talking about the potential of web series in the entertainment world and the achievements of so many filmmakers in the sector.
Earlier this year, she was the originator and Producer of Shorts Relief – a one day webfest and short film festival held at the The Capitol Theatre, Melbourne, created to raise money for Victorian Wildlife after the bushfires. Added to this, her time working in production in network television at the BBC and Channel 9, as well as her work on various industry awards juries over the years (including the AACTAS) has given her a unique perspective on this brave new world of content creation. She is passionate about web series as a medium and is continually excited about the new ways stories can be told in this format. So this acknowledgement meant a lot to her – and us!
Sally was overwhelmed with this news and wanted to say thank you. She recorded this minutes after the livestream of the Sydney Web Fest Awards concluded this evening and wanted to share it with everyone – with her heartfelt thanks. Special shoutout to Goodall and Gallagher for the lovely announcement of her win – thank you guys, you rock!
Congrats to all our fellow nominees and all the winners at this year’s Sydney Web Fest and congrats to the fabulous Courtney for putting together such a wonderful virtual festival this year. Here’s to seeing everyone in person in 2021!