Seven months ago, we brought the news that Ridley Scott wants YOU to be the next great filmmaker. To that end, he helped launch Your Film Festival, a YouTube competition where the winner would receive a $500,000 grant to create a project that would be produced by Scott and rising star (insert ‘That’s what she said!’ line here) Michael Fassbender.
On Monday, September 3rd, after a long selection process that included 15,000 video submissions (none of which could exceed 15 minutes), 50 semifinalists, ten finalists, and one group excursion around Venice, Fassbender announced Spanish filmmaker David Victori Blaya had won the grand prize for his short film, The Guilt.
The Guilt, a frenetic story about a man seeking revenge for his wife’s murder, features beautiful cinematography and is heavy with contemplation about human nature, a feature it shares with most (if not all) of the festival’s finalists. And if you don’t find that description to be art house enough, the choice of Fassbender (a film festival darling for his roles in Hunger and Shame) as the figurehead of Your Film Festival certainly cements the event as a champion of the art of cinema.
Your Film Festival is getting coverage in many of the major news outlets and certainly seems like it has a bright future ahead of it. But as YouTube commenter waraich2204 suggests, how about a category for teenage filmmakers who have the desire but lack the expensive equipment? YouTube is a great outlet for anyone with access to a camera, so hopefully its film festival will expand in the future to be representative of submissions from a number of directors with varying pedigrees. Though strictly speaking from a viewer’s perspective, if the quality of The Guilt is any indicator, the festival is certainly off to a fantastic start.