With more than just Internet glory at stake, a new online film festival backed by legendary director Ridley Scott comes with the chance to win some serious coin, a production deal, and a trip to Venice.
Launched by YouTube and sponsored by Emirates Airlines, Your Film Festival offers budding filmmakers a chance to win a $500,000 production grant and a development deal with Scott Free, the production company of Ridley and filmmaker brother Tony Scott. It also leverages the huge audience of YouTube, and will hopefully channel the efforts of online filmmakers to something more, shall we say substantial, than a raft of cute-kitty videos.
The contest, which was announced January 19 at Sundance, is open for submissions between February 2 and March 31. Films can be about any subject in any genre–from short film to live-action, documentary to web series–but must not be longer than 15 minutes and must not have been distributed before January 1, 2010.
The Scotts, with the aid of folks at their production company Scott Free, will chose 50 semifinalists from 10 geographic regions that will in turn be judged by YouTube users. Online judging will select 10 finalists, which will be shown at the 69th Annual Venice International Film Festival in August 2012. A jury of industry professionals, led by Ridley Scott, will ultimately determine the winner.
This initiative follows Ridley Scott’s user-generated content documentary Life in a Day, which was launched at Sundance last year. The project invited anyone to submit a filmed account of their day on July 24, 2011, with the results assembled into a feature-length film directed by Kevin McDonald.