I really enjoyed the Toronto Webfest (www.towebfest.com) - they are really organized, and foster a very supportive vibe. Everyone is there to network and support and talk to everyone else; I never felt the competition that can sometimes accompany film festivals.
I think your Stareable screening series is a great idea - it’s a great way to whet people’s appetites for shows, and network with your fellow creators.
Lastly, I’ve found a lot of success reaching beyond the festival world. Because our show is about immigrant lives in NYC, we always wanted to work with nonprofit rights groups, schools, and other venues to highlight both the show and the message. We’ve had multiple public screenings of our series, in different configurations (one episode, multiple eps, or the whole season) along with panel discussions or Q&As. We’ve screened three times at the NY Public Library (in different branches); at bookstores, theaters, bars, and colleges. One of the producers also assigned the series to one of her English lit courses (since it fit the syllabus). We’re pursuing more venues like this in the fall.
If you’ve made a show that you think would be of interest to a live venue like the ones above, I would strongly recommend pursuing it. The screenings generally attracted a different crowd, and they usually asked great, non-typical questions. Some have become very vocal advocates for the show.
I had similarly good luck with my last feature film, “Found In Time.” I screened the film at festivals, but also at a couple of sci-fi bookstores, comic/fantasy/sci-fi cons, and some sci-fi meetup groups and clubs.
You have to be aware that the projection quality is not always going to be great (esp. at cons, since many of the screening rooms are converted conference rooms) but the audiences are really dedicated.