[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]Award-winning writer, director and producer Julie Kalceff, joins Melbourne WebFest 2018 as a jury member and keynote speaker.

Julie has been involved in Melbourne WebFest since 2015 with her multi-platform drama Starting From Now, which received the award for Outstanding Diversity at MWF 2017.

“Australian web series creators are actually very supportive of each other and MWF is a chance to catch up and share your woes, experiences and achievements,” says Julie.

Julie’s award winning series paved the way for LGBTQ+ serie on the web, having over 95 million views on multiple platforms and an audience of culture from 230 countries worldwide.

Julie is also the writer and director of the short film First Day, which is available to stream online via ABC iview. The series depicts the story of Hannah, and her fears associated with her transition between primary school & high school – but in her case the stakes are even higher, as she will be attending school for the first time as a girl.

For Julie, choosing her favourite project of work would be like choosing between children, although she says she could narrow it down to Starting From Now and First Day.

“I think while you’re working on something, it has to be your favourite or you have to at least tell yourself you love it in order to see it through to the end. I spent three years of my life making the multi-platform drama Starting From Now and even longer on the release and marketing. It was kind of a breakthrough project for me, so it holds a special place in my heart.”

When Julie works on a new project she begins with developing a character and knowing her story’s world inside and out. “Plot will come but knowing who these characters are and what makes them tick will help you enormously throughout the scripting process,” she says.

With no shortage of content online, audiences are accessing some of the best television on the web, “If you create a series without thinking about who your audience is and how they will access your show, you’re setting yourself up for failure… a successful web series is one that connects with an audience”.

Julie is faced with the countless challenges and  realities of the industry – with fewer projects making it off the ground and landing in production. “You’re constantly having to hustle, to prove yourself, and to fight for your projects…it can be exhausting and I’m not sure it gets any easier,” she says.

She admits when it involves producing, she is a reluctant producer, claiming her favourite part is when that role is over. “My background is in writing and I’m trying to focus more on writing and directing these days. I will produce if it means a project I believe in will get made. Otherwise, I’m happy to leave it up to a more qualified producer.”   

Julie says while there is more creative freedom when working on a web series, it also means sometimes you have less support and money. In this year’s selection Julie is looking for  that embrace the short-form episodic nature of the web..

“Writing a short-form episodic narrative is different to writing a feature or a longer form series. There’s more to creating short episodes that work than writing a feature and cutting it into 5-10 equal parts. For me, the best web series not only understand this but also embrace it.”

With an extensive experience it’s no wonder Julie has countless nuggets of wisdom to share but one stood out.

“A web series is a chance to take risks, to tell the story you’ve always wanted to tell, and to do so with authenticity and heart.”

Want to see Julie’s keynote at the MWF? Tickets are now available[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]