Steve Baker’s This is Desmondo Ray!, a live action/animated series about a peculiar man who searches for love in a dark and troubling world, has been voted world champion at the Web Series World Cup.
Produced by Leanne Tonkes and backed by Screen Australia and Screen Queensland, the 6 x 7 minute drama is the second win for an Australian production after Luke Eve and Glen Dolman’s High Life was victorious last year.
The competition run by MIP TV collates results from web festivals around the world and publishes a table of the most awarded web series of the year. Desmondo Ray! was selected for 19 fests, garnered 26 nominations and 25 awards.
There are three Aussie titles in the top 10. Writer-director Blake Fraser and producer Chris Thompson’s dark drama Patricia Moore, a French-Australian co-production, came third with 31 nominations at eight festivals.
Starring Danielle Cormack, Les Hill, Jack Ruwald, Joe Klocek and Jeanette Cronin, Patricia Moore follows a 16-year-old girl who hunts to feed her cannibal family. When Patricia meets Toby he ignites her desire to live as a normal teenager and she is challenged by the family’s number one rule: Never fall in love with the food.
Bruce, a gritty black comedy set in an ordinary Aussie share-house that happens to be a prison tent in Sydney Cove, 1788, directed by Tony Rogers and produced by Jason Byrne, ranked seventh.
World Cup founder Joël Bassaget said: “Australia is the most awarded country and the quality of short form content coming out of Australia is the best in the world.”
Baker said: “Winning the World Cup is an extraordinary achievement for the entire team, but also completely unexpected. The incredible accolades from all corners of the globe tell me that Desmondo has been able to transcend borders and really get under people’s skin. I mean that literally too – people have actually been getting tattoos of him.”
The title character finds himself living alone in a rundown apartment complex on the outskirts of Forgotten Falls, a small town at the end of the world, after no one responds to his video dating tape.
When a film crew starts documenting Desmondo, they attempt to pry painful secrets about how his house mysteriously burned down and the condition of his widowed father who suffered horrible burns in the fire.
After a self-assured young woman asks Desmondo out his universe is turned upside down and he must suddenly traverse the many obstacles of dating. The cast includes Shari Sebbens, Romy Poullier and Luisa Prosser.
The same creative team is developing a live action drama created by Baker, working title The Bloody Satisfaction of Derek Gott, for Stan with the assistance of Screen Queensland.