Prix Michael Ajakwe Jr. Pioneer

The “Michael Ajakwe Pioneer Award” was created in tribute to Michael Ajakwe Jr, famous American producer, true visionary and founder of LA WEB FEST, the 1st festival dedicated to the web-series. This prize is awarded each year to a writer, author, creator or independent producer who has worked on the development and promotion of the web-series.

Michael Ajakwe Jr Pioneer Award 2020

The Marseille Web Fest is pleased to announce that this year the Michael Ajakwe Pioneer Award has been awarded to the talented Atsushi Ogata for his major role in promoting the web-series around the world.

Born in Japan and raised partly in the U.S., Ogata has worked in the U.S., Holland, Germany and Japan as a screenwriter, film director, web series creator, video artist and an actor. Graduate of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ogata’s art videos have screened world-wide. His screenplays received funding in Germany and Holland, and he appeared weekly as a comedian on Dutch TV. His comedy feature “Cast Me If You Can” was released theatrically, screened on airlines and on TV. In recent years Ogata has expanded into web series with “Trick or Treat: I LOVE America!”, “Yukata Cowboy”, “Mona Lisa Cowboy” and “Lost & Found Cowboy”. “

Yukata Cowboy” (4 seasons, 30 episodes) was awarded in Sicily, Miami, Bilbao, Dublin, Rome, Montreal, Korea and Washington D.C. and ranked #12 in Web Series World Cup 2015. It was theatrically released in Japan and also turned into a 83-page bilingual book “The Unofficial Guide to Yukata Cowboy in Japanese and English”, published by Yugakusha.

“Mona Lisa Cowboy” (7 episodes) was awarded Special Jury Prize at DC Web Fest 2018 (Washington DC, USA) and Best Costume at Asia Web Awards 2018 (Korea). Atsushi Ogata was awarded Best Actor (Star AMETS) at Bilbao Seriesland 2017 (Spain) for his starring role.

“Lost & Found Cowboy” (4 episodes completed + 4 new episodes filmed in June 2020) was awarded Best Pilot at Asia Web Awards 2019, Best Editing at Apulia Web Fest 2020 (Italy), and lead actress Kellie Holway was awarded Best Rising Star for her role at Seoul Web Fest 2019. “Lost & Found Cowboy” is currently streaming world-wide (except for Asia) on Twisted Mirror TV, UK-based comedy platform.

The “Michael Ajakwe Pioneer Award” was created in tribute to Michael Ajakwe Jr, famous American producer, true visionary and founder of LA WEB FEST, the 1st festival dedicated to the web-series. This prize is awarded each year to a writer, author, creator or independent producer who has worked on the development and promotion of the web-series.

Atsushi Ogata

Michael Ajakwe Jr. Pioneer Award 2018

In 2018, this prize was awarded to Tom Chamberlain and Dipu Bhattacharya, the creators of the multi-award winning web-series: Pantless Detective.

Michael Ajakwe Jr. Pioneer Award 2018

Michael Ajakwe Jr. Pioneer Award 2019

In 2019, this prize was awarded to Joël Bassaget
Journalist, writer, screenwriter and globetrotter who has been defending and promoting the work of independent creators in festivals around the world for years… assisted by his very sharp pen!

Michael Ajakwe Jr. Pioneer Award 2019