Have you always wanted to go to the Venice Film Festival? Do you have what it takes to make a $500,000 film? The YouTube Film Festival could give you this exact opportunity, as the site prepares to launch the competition that could change the face of film-making in the online world.

After the success of Life In A Day which was created by ordinary web users and ended up being pretty spectacular, the next step is to launch an online film festival with the aim of encouraging new talent and giving opportunities to amateur film-makers who would not normally have had the means to get into the film business. For this event, YouTube will team up with Scott Free, the British company who produced Life in a Day and is owned by Hollywood directors Ridley and Tony Scott.

Why should people enter this competition? The answer is that they could end up landing the opportunity of a lifetime, with the final prize being a $500,000 grant to make a movie for Scott Free. Of course, the winner will have to beat everyone else who enters, and knowing the popularity of YouTube, that will be a lot. Filmmakers first submit a short that is no more than 15 minutes long, and all entrants must be 18 or over. Ridley and Tony Scott will be judging the first stage of the competition, to narrow it down to 50 semi-finalists. Simple, right? These 50 entries will be given their own YouTube channel and then the power will be given to the rest of us, who will be able to vote for 10 winners.

The really exciting part comes next, once the 10 finalists have been chosen. They will get to attend the Venice Film Festival to have their films screened. From this short list, a winner will be selected by a jury led by Ridley Scott, and this lucky person will get the ultimate prize of  the $500,000 grant from YouTube. This is a fantastic opportunity for amateur film-makers and who knows, you could be the one to go from zero to 500,000. Submissions will be taken from 2nd February to 31st March, 2012.

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