In­ter­na­tional suc­cess for SA ac­tress

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - PEOPLE - AN­DREW ROBERT­SON

SOUTH African ac­tress and pro­ducer Lara Lip­s­chitz re­cently won the award for best ac­tress for her role in the web se­ries Chin Up, at the fourth NYC Web Fest.

Chin Up is a fresh and funny mock­u­men­tary-style web se­ries fol­low­ing the life of a strug­gling ac­tress living and work­ing in Cape Town.

Lip­s­chitz, who pre­sented on SABC1’s YoTV for 10 years, be­fore ap­pear­ing on SABC 3 soap opera Isidingo play­ing Rosie Lawrence, stud­ied drama at Wits Univer­sity. She grad­u­ated cum laude and earned the Jo­han­nes­burg Dra­matic and Op­er­atic So­ci­ety Prize for mu­si­cal the­atre.

Speak­ing on her award, Lip­s­chitz said, “I am over the moon. As a creator and an artist, it means so much that the cre­ativ­ity and hard work which goes into Chin Up is be­ing no­ticed. As a South African, this is one more rea­son to be­lieve that our stan­dards and our work can com­pete and ex­cel with the best in the world.”

The fes­ti­val was founded by Lau­ren Atkins, who was born in Cape Town but em­i­grated with her fam­ily to Toronto, Canada.

“In 2013, I pro­duced a se­ries about stand-up com­edy called My Friends Think I’m Funny that pre­miered at LA Web Fest (where it won for pro­duc­tion and best orig­i­nal con­cept),” Atkins said.

“Prior to the fes­ti­val, I went to many dif­fer­ent networking events in NYC and they were al­ways well at­tended, but they were seg­re­gated in a way. There would be an event in Har­lem for black cre­ators, or a meet-up down­town for sketch com­edy per­form­ers, but noth­ing that brought the en­tire com­mu­nity to­gether.

“Once I re­turned from LA Web Fest in 2013, the de­ci­sion was made. In Novem­ber 2014 we had a one day event to test the wa­ters and a fes­ti­val was born.

“Six months later when we opened for sub­mis­sions, the first en­try was from co­me­dian Colin Quinn, whose se­ries Cop Show fea­tured Jerry Se­in­feld and Amy Schumer. In 2015, we held the world pre­miere of The Men­tors star­ring Lewis Black (who ap­pears on The Daily Show) and cre­ators be­gan fly­ing in from around the world.”

Ac­cord­ing to Atkins, this year saw record num­bers of sub­mis­sions and at­ten­dees at the NYC Web Fest event.

“The in­ter­na­tional mar­ket is grow­ing faster ev­ery year. In fact, over a third of our sub­mis­sions in 2017 were from out­side the United

‘This is one more rea­son to be­lieve our work can com­pete with best in the world’

States with Canada, Aus­tralia, and Ar­gentina lead­ing the way re­spec­tively. Not only are cre­ators en­ter­ing fes­ti­vals, they’re at­tend­ing them. We held an in­ter­na­tional panel on the clos­ing day of the fest and there were too many peo­ple on the stage,” she said.

Atkins hopes that with Lip­s­chitz’s win, more South African cre­ators, di­rec­tors and ac­tors will en­ter fes­ti­vals be­cause “it does help get the word out about their se­ries”.

Past win­ners of the NYC Web Fest have fea­tured on Net­flix.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.