Friday, March 04, 2005

Good news for underground filmmakers

As reported by the Associated Press, the Tribeca Film Festival has recently announced a new contest for unknown short-film directors, co-sponsored by Amazon. In a twist on how such open-entry contests are run at places like American Zoetrope and Project Greenlight (where entrants must judge three other entries before being allowed to submit their own, with consistently highest-scoring entries coming to the attention of the sponsors), the entries to the Tribeca Short Film Festival will be judged online by random Amazon visitors, with the top vote-getters receiving $50,000 worth of credit from American Express. Entries can last no longer than seven minutes, so that they can be easily digitized and delivered online to random judges; Amazon visitors are then assigned a random entry to watch and judge each time they visit, so that filmmakers cannot orchestrate a rigged jury, like what happens sometimes on shows like American Idol. What a great opportunity for underground filmmakers! I encourage all of you to check it out.