YouTube and Emirates, in partnership with La Biennale di Venezia (the Venice Film Festival) and Scott Free, announced today Your Film Festival – a global competition to find the world’s best storytellers, connect them with a global audience, and provide one deserving entrant with a career-changing opportunity.
Content creators around the world are invited to submit a 15-minute, story-driven video of any format, style and genre, to Youtube.com/yourfilmfestival. After submissions are whittled down to 50 semi-finalists, audiences from around the world will cast their votes, choosing ten finalists. The ten finalists will travel to Italy, where their work will screen at the 69th Venice International Film Festival in August. A grand prize winner will then be named by a special jury and awarded a $500,000 YouTube original production grant to work with Scott Free, ultimately creating a brand new work for the world to see.
“YouTube is committed to bringing entertaining, original content to a global audience and Your Film Festival is another example of our investment in great creators worldwide,” says Robert Kyncl, Global Head of Content at YouTube. “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.”
The competition brings together YouTube’s cutting-edge technology with the finest traditions of the world-renowned Venice Film Festival, to help discover and nurture new talent. Directors, producers and writers from around the world will be encouraged to submit their films and the voting will ultimately belong to the YouTube community at large.
Submissions, which open February 2, 2012 and close on March 31, 2012, will be reviewed by Scott Free and narrowed down to 50 semi-finalists from around the world in the summer of 2012. The YouTube community will then vote for ten finalists who will be flown to unveil their films in a special program at the 2012 Venice Film Festival. In Venice, a jury will vote among the ten films to select one Grand Prize Winner. The winner will receive a development deal with Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions. “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,” says Ridley Scott. “It’s great to be partnering with YouTube again for this global search for the next generation of exciting filmmakers.”
Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, is the sponsor of this year’s YouTube Your Film Festival. “The foundation of the Emirates brand is connecting people. As an airline, we link people from one destination to another and we also act as a cultural bridge for people’s thoughts, ideas and dreams,” said Boutros Boutros, Divisional Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Emirates. “Through our sponsorship of Your Film Festival we are supporting the journey of emerging filmmakers through YouTube’s innovative entertainment platform.”
Alberto Barbera, the newly named artistic director of The Venice Film Festival, said that they were excited to be working in partnership with YouTube and Ridley Scott. “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,” said Barbera.
Your Film Festival is one of several efforts by YouTube to push the boundaries of music, art, and film. It follows the incredibly successful partnership that YouTube experienced with Scott Free to help create the critically acclaimed documentary Life In A Day. Other projects like the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, YouTube Play, and YouTube Space Lab are examples of the convergence of online video with traditional arts . Emirates, the global airline, has also come on board as a proud sponsor of the program and the festival.
For more information, please visit youtube.com/yourfilmfestival and submit your film between February 2 and March 31, 2012.