Budding Filipino filmmakers can now showcase their talents side by side with their foreign counterparts by vying in an online film festival being backed and supported by American Director Spike Lee.
Director Lee explained that this project, which he called the Babelgum Online Film Festival, aims to make it easier for budding filmmakers to showcase their talent.
In a news item in the Guardian Limited website, Lee explained that the Babelgum Filmfest, named after the internet TV network, will showcase films that are shorter than 45 minutes long, either shot in English or with English language subtitles.
Lee, director of Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X, launched the project in a press conference on the sidelines of the 64th Venice Film Festival.
“There’s this misconstrued thinking that all talent is in Los Angeles or New York. Where you live is no longer a hindrance,” Lee said.
“I used to be a struggling independent filmmaker myself and so I under-stand how important a forum like this one is,” Lee added. He concluded: “With opportunities like this one available these days, a good filmmaker who doesn’t get his films seen has only himself to blame.”
The news item reads as follows:
“Online users will select the 10 shortlisted entries, with the nine-strong jury, headed by Lee, selecting the final six from categories such as documentaries, advertising, animation, social/environment themed subjects or short film, for movies under 20 minutes long.
“The final category, titled the Looking for Genius award, will aim to praise
‘a new or emerging talent who displays clear and outstanding achievement’. Each winner will bag 20,000 euros (13,500 pounds) and, hopefully, the chance to break into the film business.
“The online festival will be open for submissions between September 15, 2007 and February 15, 2008, with the winners announced next April.”