Tuesday, March 20, 2012

YouTube and Emirates announce Global Competition to find the World’s Best Storytellers: Your Film Festival 2012

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 semifinalists, 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.”

Michael Fassbender
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.

Scott Free Productions was formed in 1995 and is the film and television production vehicle of acclaimed film directors, brothers Ridley and Tony Scott. Scott Free Films recently released the international hits Robin Hood and Unstoppable, as well as the critically acclaimed films Cracks, Welcome to the Rileys, Cyrus for Fox Searchlight, and most recently the YouTube backed Life in a Day. Next for Scott Free is Ridley Scott’s visionary epic Prometheus starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron which Fox will release in June 2012, and Joe Carnahan’s The Grey starring Liam Neeson set for January 2012. The company just wrapped production on Stoker, the English language debut of Park Chan Wook (Old Boy) at Searchlight, starring Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode and is currently in production on The East with director Zal Batmanglij and starring Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgard, and Ellen Page also for Fox Searchlight.

Scott Free Television produces the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated, Peabody-acclaimed drama, The Good Wife for CBS which is now in its third year. Up next this year, is an eight hour adaptation of World Without End, Ken Follett’s international best-seller featuring Cynthia Nixon, Ben Chaplin and Miranda Richardson, as well as Coma, a four-hour adaptation of the Robin Cook novel, starring Geena Davis, James Woods, Richard Dreyfuss and Ellen Burstyn, set to air Memorial Day 2012 on A&E. Scott Free also produced the Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominated mini-series The Pillars of the Earth for Starz, and the hit CBS show Numb3rs, which ran for six seasons. With offices in Los Angeles and London, Scott Free works closely with RSA Films, one of the world's largest and most successful commercial production houses.

The 69th Venice International Film Festival is directed by Alberto Barbera and organised by la Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta. It will be held on the Venice Lido from 29th August to 8th September 2012. The aim of the Festival is to raise awareness and promote the various aspects of international cinema in all its forms: as art, entertainment and as an industry, in a spirit of freedom and tolerance. The International Competition awards the Golden Lion and other official prizes. The Festival is officially recognized by FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations).

Emirates, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, has received more than 500 international awards and accolades for excellence. Emirates flies to 118 destinations in 70 countries across six continents and is the world’s largest airline in available seat kilometres. Operating 168 wide-body Airbus and Boeing aircraft, including an industry leading 20 A380s, Emirates has orders for an additional 237 aircraft, worth more than USD$84 billion. 

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