The athletes at the Olympics aren’t the only international competitors in a high-profile race this summer. Over on YouTube, 15,000 filmmakers from around the globe submitted short films in the Your Film Festival in an effort to be included in a select group who will vie for a top prize at the Venice Film Festival in August. Three million YouTube viewers voted, culling the entries to 50 semi-finalists and 10 finalists.
The lucky 10 filmmakers were announced Wednesday, with two American films making the cut: “88:88,” Joey Ciccoline and Sean Wilson’s atmospheric thriller about a young woman with an interesting way of getting ready for bed; and “The Drought,” Kevin Slack’s affecting character study of an elderly gentleman enduring a long, hot New York summer with the help of his memories.
Other competing films were made in Lebanon, Egypt, Australia, Bolivia, Spain, Brazil and the United Kingdom.
All ten finalists will be screened at a special sidebar in Venice. A jury including director Ridley Scott and actor Michael Fassbender will select the big winner, who will receive $500,000 in assistance from Scott’s production company to create original online content, with Scott and Fassbender executive producing. “Your Film Festival” continues YouTube’s recent push to broaden the scope of the online video channel, with such programs as the “Life In a Day” documentary and the “YouTube Symphony Orchestra.”
Watch the ten finalists here and start rooting for your favorites!