"We're giving Fiction Podcasts the Film Festival treatment."
- Neem Basha, President, New Jersey Web Fest
In the Spring of 2019, I approached Neem Basha to grab a cup of coffee. At a Starbucks on Wall Street, I told him about an under-served community of web content creators. Neem is the founder of the New Jersey Web Fest, one of the top-rated Film Festivals in the world for web series. What I explained is that during my time making both Fiction Podcasts and Web Series I had found the Venn Diagram of creators in both mediums to be a circle. Both communities are vibrant, inventive, beautifully creative, diverse, and unbelievably supportive of each other. However, Web Series have Film Festivals, Fiction Podcasts have no comparative experience. Neem's festival has a reputation for being one of the most creator-focused and uplifting festivals on the Web Fest circuit. I told him that these creators making incredible pieces of Audio Fiction deserved to feel as special as the filmmakers do at the NJWF. He looked at me from across the table and without missing a beat he said "I'm in. How do we make this happen?"
Five years basically to the minute.
What do five years even mean? What does it look like? A half-decade without my Dad, 1/6th of the half decades I've been on this earth. I'll be younger than he was when he passed when I'll have spent more years without him than with him.
Almost everything I've accomplished, achieved, sought, done, has been as a result of decisions made and actions taken after his passing. Would he recognize the path I'm on given that almost all of it started after he was gone? Would it make sense to him? Would he understand it?
I spent a good portion of my childhood with a dedicated, but absentee father. A good man who lived too far away to be ever-present with a teenager who didn't particularly understand the necessity of communication.
We really reconnected when I was in college and he was just a quick drive away. After college, he remained one of my closest friends.
Photo by Danny Bristoll
(fac·to·tum | \ fak-ˈtō-təm) noun - a person having many diverse activities or responsibilities
I find myself hilarious, and I use this blog to stroke my own ego. Thanks for indulging me.