Truthfully, the importance of a film festival begins with the hype surrounding it, and there are few better ways, at least in the film industry, to create a buzz than by netting a big name. The Babelgum Online Film Festival has done just that with their inaugural event by naming Spike Lee as Honorary Judge of the festival jury.
The festival, organized by free online television service Babelgum, features short to medium form films, including animated films, documentaries and music videos. The entry period ends February 15, 2008 and there is no submission fee. There is, however, a prize of €20,000 (about $30,000) for the winner of each category.
Despite how it may appear, Lee’s participation in the festival is not simply show, as the legendary moviemaker has final say on who gets these victory Euros. After the public votes on the films online, the festival jury then screens the 10 films with the most votes in each category. Lee himself then watches the jury’s top three choices and picks the winner for each category.
“Now more than ever before, independent filmmakers need every bit of help to showcase their work,” says Lee. “The Babelgum Online Film Festival will accomplish this by combining the value of a film festival with the openness and global reach of the Internet for those seeking to showcase their work and advance their film careers.” Lee himself has already aided young moviemakers in the advancement of their film careers through his involvement in the festival. As per his request, student moviemakers are invited to compete in the festival and will be judged on equal grounds to the professional moviemakers.
So here’s a chance to win a few bucks and have your film seem by one of the truly great voices in American moviemaking, all for an entry fee of $0. As Lee puts it, “You have no excuses now. If you have a film and you’re talented and someone is not seeing it, it’s your fault.” Listen to the man and do the right thing.
Visit http://www.babelgum.com/online-film-festival for more information.