YOUTUBE Project: Direct international film competition announces SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL-Bound winner and runners up
American film ¡Perfecto! wins first place followed by Canadian film White Collar Criminals and American film Good Deeds and the Damage Done
SAN BRUNO, Calif.– YouTube™, the leading online video community that allows people to discover, watch and share originally created videos, along with Sundance Film Festival and Moviefone, the web’s premiere destination for movie news, showtimes and tickets, today announced the results of Project:Direct, the sequel to last year’s successful online international short film competition designed to both discover hidden talent and engage the YouTube community. Hundreds of talented filmmakers entered the contest, and a panel of Sundance festival programmers helped choose 10 finalists. The global YouTube community then voted and selected their favorite films.
Blake Edwards of Charlotte, North Carolina, won the competition with his film, ¡Perfecto! As the grand prize winner, Edwards will receive $2,500 and will spend five days at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival where his winning short film will screen at a Festival event. Second place winners from Toronto, Canada, Ben Goldenberg and Jason Gossbee, will receive $2,500 for their film, White Collar Criminals. Additionally, third place winner, Santa Monica, California’s Avery Auer, will receive $1,000 for her film, Good Deeds and the Damage Done. In addition to receiving cash prizes from Moviefone, the winner and two runners-up will have DVDs of their films distributed to industry executives at the Sundance Film Festival.
“We are thrilled that YouTube Project:Direct once again attracted the crème de la crème of rising filmmakers worldwide, giving them the unique opportunity to reach hundreds of millions of new fans and industry executives,” said Sara Pollack, Product Marketing Manager for Film, YouTube. “With entrants this year ranging from first time filmmakers to last year’s grand prize winner, Project:Direct continues to highlight the creativity that exists throughout the YouTube community. Having created new landing pages for engaging with film on YouTube – youtube.com/movies, youtube.com/projectdirect, and youtube.com/screeningroom – we remain committed to unearthing new talent and connecting fans with new and classic favorites.”
“It’s a great thing for a friend to say your work is good, but it’s an entirely different thing to be recognized by a panel of Sundance Film Festival programmers and an audience as vast and creative as YouTube’s,“ said Blake Edwards. ”It’s an honor to receive this award and I’m grateful to our friends, family, and supporters for voting us into the top! Thanks to YouTube, Moviefone, and Sundance as well for hosting an international platform for filmmakers like Project:Direct"
The 25th Sundance Film Festival is scheduled to take place January 15 - January 25, 2009 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. YouTube audiences can view the winning Project:Direct films and additional contest entries at www.youtube.com/projectdirect.
About The Filmmakers
Blake Edwards and Erin Fede
Blake Edwards traveled around the world searching for film and stage opportunities in Spain, Los Angeles, and New York, only to return to Charlotte, North Carolina, and find inspiration in his office cubicle mate, aspiring writer and actress Erin Fede. Having written and starred in Gone in a Flash, last year’s Project:Direct first runner up, Fede penned this year’s script about an international spy finding love in the country and decided her well-traveled, Carolinian office mate would make a fitting director. Filmed entirely in Charlotte, Perfecto! turns the city’s downtown into France, the Middle East, India, and Russia, while maintaining the film’s unique Southern cinematic flavor.
White Collar Criminals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfi1yxUdUDE
Benjamin Goldenberg and Jason Gosbee
Like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern before them, Goldenberg and Gosbee deliver. Despite attending film schools over 2,000 miles apart, fellow Canadians and recent graduates Benjamin Goldenberg (NY Film Academy in L.A.) and Jason Gosbee (Toronto Film School), learned the same lesson – stylized storytelling always entertains. Written in one night and shot and edited over the next three days, this duo’s black comedy, White Collar Criminals, has been viewed over 150,000 times around the world. With many more film collaborations already in the works, Goldenberg’s and Gosbee’s futures are scripted to be anything but tragic.
Good Deeds and the Damage Done: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7Ji2fLpiOw
Avery Auer and Joe Pascual
Working as a freelance copy editor for magazines and advertising agencies in Santa Monica, California, was never Avery Auer’s dream – she wanted to write and produce films just as her grandfather had done decades before. Spotting an advertisement for YouTube’s Project:Direct, Auer knew the international contest was a prime opportunity to begin her career in film. With an eye for sharp dialogue, a knack for dark comedy, and the uncanny ability to incorporate all 25 Sundance props (only two of which were required to be included in each filmmaker’s entry) into a single film, Auer impressed director Joe Pascual so much that he offered her a contract to write for his upcoming TV show. With many other writer/producer offers on the table, Auer is on the way to claiming her Hollywood birthright.
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