Believe it or not, the Star Trek fan film community DOES have its own convention every year…or at least it did until COVID shut down the entire world in 2020!
Granted, TREKLANTA isn’t only a fan film convention. Since 2011, ERIC L. WATTS, Founder and Chairman of the the Treklanta mini-con (originally called TrekTrax), has invited a wide range of guests over the years that’s included a wealth of Star Trek and sci-fi veteran actors, authors, and production people…along with other fine folks whom fans have always enjoyed seeing and meeting.
But Treklanta is also the convention that Star Trek fan filmmakers call “home.” For the past half-decade, Treklanta has presented the annual BJO AWARDS—the only competition devoted exclusively to recognizing and honoring Star Trek fan films. It’s the closest thing we have to the Oscars (only “Oscar” is now the woman who saved Star Trek from cancellation with a giant letter-writing campaign back in the 1960s!).
Sadly, Treklanta didn’t happen at all last year because of the pandemic. And because this mini-con is typically funded with revenue from the previous year’s event, there wasn’t enough in the coffers to entirely finance an in-person Treklanta this year. Fortunately, fifteen months of quarantining has taught fans that the show CAN go on—and you don’t even have to leave your house!
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Treklanta™ on the Holodeck!
This year’s Treklanta event will be a full day of FREE virtual panels beginning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time and going straight through till 10:00 p.m. THIS SATURDAY (August 7, 2021). All of the panels will be accessible via Google Meet at the following link:
The only requirement is that you have a Google/Gmail account to participate in the online events. And what if you don’t? Well, creating a free Google account is free and easy and doesn’t take very long. And you never have to use the Google account again if you don’t want to. But aside from that one requirement, Treklanta™ on the Holodeck is open to anyone at anytime during the day on Saturday. Start watching a panel, stick around for bit, ask a question or two, leave, come back, or just keep the link open all day long. It’s the easiest convention you’ve ever stayed home for!
Here’s the schedule of events (including a Fan Film “Power Panel” at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time that you will NOT want to miss!)…
10:00 a.m. Eastern Time – OPENING CEREMONIES
Hosted by Treklanta Assistant Director Brian Holloway along with any other Treklanta staff or guests who would care to join him.
11:00 a.m. Eastern Time – STAR TREK FAN CLUBS ARE ALIVE AND WELL!
Representatives from STARFLEET International (SFI) and the Klingon Assault Group (KAG) will discuss the two largest Star Trek fan clubs in the world. Representing SFI will be Vice Admiral Richard Sams from the United Kingdom, Admiral David Nottage from California, and Vice Admiral Ryan Case from Mississippi.
Representing KAG will be Chris Lipscombe, Supreme Commander of KAG; Leila McMichael, Dark Star Quadrant Commander; and John Lars Shoberg, Phoenix Rising Squadron Commander.
12:00 noon Eastern Time – MARK McCRAY and DAN KLINK (Star Trek: The Animated Series)
Mark McCray, author of The Best Saturdays of Our Lives, and podcaster Dan Klink will discuss “How Star Trek: The Animated Series Influenced the Future Star Trek Franchises.”
1:00 p.m. Eastern Time – DAVID GERROLD
Legendary writer of “The Trouble with Tribbles” and author David Gerrold will join us for a one-hour Q&A. David is always an amazing mind to listen to, and he’s got strong, intelligent, and compelling things to say about, well, almost everything!
2:00 p.m. Eastern Time – KEITH R. A. DeCANDIDO
Prolific writer and columnist, author of many, many Star Trek novels, Keith R. A. DeCandido will join us for a one-hour Q&A and maybe even a reading from one of his many, many Star Trek stories.
3:00 p.m. Eastern Time – A STAR TREK PUPPET SHOW? YES!!
At 3:00 p.m., husband and wife puppeteer team Charles and Veronica Bramlett, a.k.a. Felt Nerdy, will present an all-new Star Trek puppet show, followed by a Q&A about puppeteering.
4:00 p.m. Eastern Time – J. G. HERTZLER
At 4:00 p.m., the talented and versatile actor J. G. Hertzler, best known as Deep Space Nine‘s Klingon General Martok but also as Prelude to Axanar‘s Captain Samuel Travis, will join us for a one-hour Q&A. J.G. is always a laugh-out-loud riot!
5:00 p.m. Eastern Time – R. ALAN SILER
R. Alan Siler, author of “Star Trek‘s Greatest Hits: A Guide to the Best Episodes from the Final Frontier” and the host of the podcast Earth Station Trek, will host a one-hour edition of his podcast right here.
6:00 p.m. Eastern Time – TRACEE LEE COCCO
The absolutely delightful Tracee Lee Cocco will join us for a one-hour Q&A. Tracee appeared as Lt. Jae, an uncredited background character in dozens of Next Generation episodes and the first TNG movie, as well as many different aliens in TNG, Deep Space Nine and Voyager.
7:00 p.m. Eastern Time – JONATHAN LANE and the FAN FILM POWER PANEL
Fan Film Factor blogger Jonathan Lane (hey, that’s me!) will host our Fan Film Power Panel, which will include his guests Joshua Michael Irwin, Vance Major, Mark Naccarato, Frank Parker, Jr., Greg Teft, Aaron Vanderkley, and Glen L. Wolfe! We’ll be discussing, among other topics, whether the new $160 million VCBS deal with Alex Kurtzman is a good thing for fan films and fandom in general. Yep, we’re going there…don’t miss it!
8:00 p.m. Eastern Time – CLOSING CEREMONIES
Closing Ceremonies will be held at 8:00 p.m. and will be hosted by Treklanta Assistant Director Brian Holloway along with any other Treklanta staff or guests that would care to join him.
9:00 p.m. Eastern Time – THE BEST OF STAR TREK FAN FILMS
Following the Closing Ceremonies, Treklanta is delighted to present the world premiere of “The BEST of Star Trek Fan Films,” a 75-minute clip compilation video by Jonathan Lane that showcases the very best of independent Star Trek fan productions over the past 15 years. Bring popcorn!
Be aware that the Bjo Awards will not be presented during this event because judges are still being recruited. If you or someone you know has an established professional credit in the Star Trek franchise (actor, author, artist, writer, director, designer, producer, makeup artist, stunt double…pretty much anything) OR is a Star Trek fan currently working in the television/motion picture industry and does not have any known association with any previous or current fan film, you and/or those persons are invited to join this elite panel of judges for these very important awards. Please contact Eric Watts at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information and a ballot.
Also note that donations will be solicited during this event. Funds raised will be applied to general operating expenses of the next in-person Treklanta convention, to be held in either 2022 or 2023. No date has yet been set for that next event, but the success of this and future fundraisers will help determine when that can happen.
And here’s the Google Meet link once again (it will not be active until 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time this Saturday):