YouTube has teamed up with Ridley Scott and Scott Free London, the Venice Film Festival, and Emirates Airline for a worldwide video competition, Your Film Festival, which features a US$50,000 cash prize.
Filmmakers are being encouraged to submit a video of 15 minutes or shorter, which can be in any format, including documentary, animation, live action short, web-series episode or a TV pilot. The winner receives a US$50,000 production grant to work with Ridley Scott and Scott Free London on creating a new work.
Filmmaker Ridley Scott said of the initiative: “Short filmmaking is exactly where I started my career 50 years ago, so to be helping new filmmakers find an entry point like this into the industry is fantastic.”
Beginning on February 2, story-driven videos can be uploaded to youtube.com/yourfilmfestival before the competition wraps on March 31 at midnight EST. Entry is free and open to people aged 18 and above. Content in the submitted video cannot have been publicly shown or distributed prior to January 1, 2010.
After the competition closes, the Scott Free team will select 50 semi-finalists from across the globe by June 2012, before power is given to YouTube users who vote for their favorites to select 10 finalists. The top 10 videos will screen at the 2012 Venice Film Festival, where a jury led by Ridley Scott will name one grand prize winner.
Submitted shorts will be judged on storytelling, creativity, originality, screenplay, actors’ performances and technical execution. Alberto Barbera, the artistic director of the Venice Film Festival, said: “The festival has such a wonderful and rich history with launching great talent. We’re thrilled to remain on the cutting edge and let the world participate in our festival.”
Robert Kyncl, global head of content at YouTube, added: “Through this program, YouTube will give filmmakers the opportunity to reach a vast audience, screen their work during the Venice Film Festival and potentially be rewarded in a career-changing way.”