By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood January 19, 2012 at 6:30PM
YouTube is the place for randomly generated hilarity: falling cats, Rebecca Black ballads, and singing toddlers. But YouTube wants to change this perception. By launching a short film competition, YouTube is making an effort to find new talent, as opposed to accidental meme-generators.
Thursday YouTube, along with Ridley Scott's Scott Free Productions, launched Your Film Festival, a global competition to find the world's best storytellers. Ridley Scott said this plan to sponsor new filmmakers' entry into the industry will be "fantastic… short filmmaking is exactly where I started my career 50 years ago." YouTube worked with Scott Free on the critically acclaimed documentary "Life in a Day."
In their search for a 15-minute, story-driven short film, the contest will be whittled down to 50 semifinalists; audiences will vote for the top ten best films that will show at the 69th Venice International Film Festival in August. The Grand Prize Winner will land a $500,000 production grant and a development deal with Scott Free Production.
Submissions open February 2, 2012 and close March 31, 2012. More information here: youtube.com/yourfilmfestival.