A Japanese festival Shorts Shorts focusing on the art of the short film is offering a new award of nearly a million dollars to a director from anywhere in the world with a great pitch for a movie.
Organizers say short video is where audiences are going, as entertainment increasingly gets consumed on smartphones and tablets. They also believe the format holds potential for novice filmmakers, bringing fresh insight and energy to the industry.
The deadline for submitting a 500-word pitch on what's billed as a "thrilling, exciting, moving" story-line is 29 February 2016. The pitch must be written in either Japanese or English.
Five finalists will be chosen first. Each gets a 500,000 yen ($4,000) cash prize. Then one among the five will be picked, and receive 100 million yen ($800,000) in funding to make his or her movie. That winner will get an additional 1 million yen ($8,000) award.
Rieko Muramoto, executive director for digital business at the Japanese entertainment company Avex Digital, which is providing the contest funds, believes it's a worthy investment for finding fresh content for online services, pioneering a genre and nurturing talent. She stresses she isn't out to make a quick buck.
"The short film holds a lot of potential for busy people who are watching video on smartphones, which means a complete story must be told much more quickly," Muramoto said.
Online site for pitch submissions: http://www.shortshorts.org/shortfilm_pitch/index-en.html
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