Wednesday 12 March 2008

Online Film Festival

The International Hearld Tribune reports on a new phenomenon: the online international film event: Babelgum Online Film Festival

The festival features a collection of over 1,000 short films that were gathered from the Internet last summer, and are now collected together online so that viewers can vote on their favourites in seven categories. The director Spike Lee will watch the short lists, and will award prizes of €20,000 to the winners at a special award luncheon at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

The festival was developed as a way to generate content for Babelgum, a new online video site founded by an Italian billionaire, Silvio Scaglia. Like Joost, another video platform with high-profile supporters, Dublin-based Babelgum hopes to take advantage of growing interest in television-style programming on the Internet. ...

While Joost provides some second-tier programming from mainstream broadcasters like Viacom, Babelgum is taking a different approach. Most of its content is "user generated," as on YouTube. But Babelgum says all of it must come from "professionals," which it defines as a registered company, a film student or another comparably trained source.

"People want to find platforms to express themselves, to present," said Valerio Zingarelli, chief executive of Babelgum. "The talent is coming from the bottom up. It is not necessary for Babelgum to go to Hollywood and have lengthy discussions with the majors."

The festival submissions generated about 100 hours of video, which makes up the majority of Babelgum's content. Like Joost, but unlike YouTube, Babelgum prevents copying of the material, using so-called digital rights management technology.

Both Joost and Babelgum make their videos available free of charge, hoping to make money from advertising.

No comments: