December 05, 2007 10:00 ET

New Film Stars Rise and Shine in YouTube Project Direct International Film Competition

Brazilian Film "Lacos" Wins First Place Followed by American Films "Gone in a Flash" and "My Name Is Lisa"

SAN BRUNO, CA--(Marketwire - December 5, 2007) - YouTube, the leading online video community that allows people to discover, watch and share originally created videos, today announced the results of Project Direct, the company's first ever international film competition sponsored by HP. Hundreds of talented filmmakers entered the contest and award-winning director, Jason Reitman, along with a panel of experts from Fox Searchlight, helped choose 20 finalists. The YouTube community then voted and selected their favorite films.

Adriana Falcão of Brazil won the competition for "Lacos." As the grand prize winner, Falcão will spend nine days as a guest of HP at a major international film festival, will meet with Fox Searchlight Pictures production executives, will receive a $5,000 debit card and have her video played on the YouTube homepage in seven countries. Second place winner from the United States, Jacob Lewis, will receive a $5,000 debit card for his film "Gone in a Flash." Additionally, third place winner, America's Ben Shelton, will receive a $2,500 debit card for his film "My Name Is Lisa."

"We are thrilled to see so many high caliber submissions for Project Direct. The camaraderie among entrants, along with the community's level of engagement with the top 20 entries, is a tribute to the quality of the films we received," said Sara Pollack, Community Manager for Film, YouTube. "YouTube provides a unique opportunity to filmmakers who hope to find an audience for their films and ultimately be discovered."

"It's an honor to receive this award given the tremendous talent of the other filmmakers who entered," said Adriana Falcão. "Thanks to everyone who voted for our film and also to YouTube, HP and Fox Searchlight for helping me achieve this award."

Audiences can view the winning films and additional contest entries in a dedicated Project Direct gallery at The gallery launches December 12, 2007 and will exist indefinitely to highlight the exceptional films that were submitted to the contest.

About The Filmmakers


Adriana Falcão and Flavia Lacerda

Adriana Falcão was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She is a writer who has authored six books including one that was adapted into the motion picture, "The Machine." This sparked her interest in film and as Brazil's movie industry expands, so does Falcão's passion for the medium. When her daughter Clarice told her about YouTube's Project Direct, Falcão solicited the help of her longtime friend and filmmaker, Favia Lacerda. With Falcão's story, her daughter as the star and Flavia behind the camera, "Lacos" came to be. Falcão continues to write with a focus on Brazilian films and is currently working on a movie script.

"Gone in a Flash":

Jacob Lewis, Chris Crutchfield and Erin Fede

When Jacob Lewis moved to Charlotte, North Carolina he met Chris Crutchfield and the two soon discovered a shared passion for film. Jacob was introduced to aspiring writer and actress Erin Fede and soon thereafter, Chris joined Erin's improvisation troupe. The three discussed collaborating on short films and Project Direct provided them with an opportunity to make "Gone In a Flash." The production was shot and edited in approximately four days and cost less than 70 dollars to make. The three are looking forward to their next venture.

"My Name Is Lisa":

Ben Shelton

Ben Shelton grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and made his first film in Junior High. He continued to follow his passion at the University of Puget Sound where he co-founded the student film club with his filmmaking partner, Eric Ankrim. After graduating with a BA in Theater Arts, Shelton moved to Los Angeles to pursue filmmaking. After spending his early career as a set production assistant, Shelton began making Internet videos. The success of his work led to several projects with companies including, Fox Entertainment, the NBA and MySpace. Shelton co-wrote and directed "My NameIs Lisa" for Project Direct with his brother Josh Shelton, who also created the film's music.

About YouTube

YouTube is the world's most popular online video community allowing millions of people to discover, watch and share originally created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube, LLC is based in San Bruno, CA, and is a subsidiary of Google Inc.