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YouTube launches film festival

YouTube has launched a short film competition in partnership with director Ridley Scott’s production company, Scott Free, and the Venice Film Festival, that will offer one winner a half-million dollar production grant.

Submissions for Your Film Festival open on February 2 and close on March 31, with content creators invited to submit a 15-minute “story driven” video in any style – including live action, animation, documentary or web series episode.

A long list of 50 contenders will be picked by Scott Free, with the YouTube community to vote for the final 10 films. These will all be screened at the Venice Film Festival in August, with a grand winner to be selected by a special jury at the event.

The overall winner will receive a US$500,000 development deal with Scott Free, the company that was recently behind the award-winning YouTube-backed documentary film Life in a Day.

“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. It’s great to be partnering with YouTube again for this global search for the next generation of exciting filmmakers,” said Ridley Scott.

Your Film Festival is YouTube’s latest bid to foster creativity on its site, after it announced last year 100 partners that will launch professional video networks on the site. A string of sports channels, including one fronted by skateboarder Tony Hawk, went live yesterday, while global news agency Reuters also launched its own YouTube internet TV service.

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