SOURCE: YouTube

October 01, 2007 10:00 ET

YouTube Premieres First International Film Competition

Award-Winning Director Jason Reitman and YouTube Film Lovers to Crown Winner; HP Sponsors Contest, Linking to Their "What do you have to say?" Campaign

SAN BRUNO, CA--(Marketwire - October 1, 2007) - YouTube, the leading online video community that allows people to discover, watch and share originally created videos, today announced Project Direct, its first international film promotion, sponsored by HP, that aims to discover the top filmmakers within its community. (http://www.youtube.com/projectdirect)

From Sunday, Oct. 7, through Friday, Nov. 9, filmmakers from Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States can submit their best original works that showcase their personal style and creativity. Jason Reitman, director of "Thank You For Smoking" and upcoming Fox Searchlight release "Juno," along with a panel of experts, will narrow the field of entries down to 20 finalists. The YouTube community will then vote on the finalists from Friday, November 23 through Sunday, December 2. The winners will be unveiled on Wednesday, December 5.

"YouTube provides a great platform for independent filmmakers to build and grow a global audience for their short films and video projects. Project Direct will recognize the best filmmakers and reward them for their creativity and ingenuity," said Jamie Byrne, head of product marketing, YouTube. "We created this competition for an international audience as video is a universal way for people to communicate and express themselves."

The winner chosen by the YouTube community will spend nine days as a guest of Hewlett-Packard at a top international Film Festival where they will attend special events, including a meeting with Fox Searchlight production executives. The winner will also receive a $5,000 debit card and have their video played on the YouTube homepage in seven countries.

HP, which recently launched a campaign encouraging customers to submit videos about their experiences with its printing products, is sponsoring the contest.

"We're thrilled to be involved with Project Direct -- it's a natural extension of our 'What do you have to say?' campaign," said Daina Middleton, director of global advertising and interactive marketing, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. "Our campaign seeks to spark creativity and personalization among people around the globe; we see this contest as an opportunity to extend that support to the YouTube community."

YouTube Project Direct Details

Each video entry must be between two and seven minutes long and include director guidelines specified by Jason Reitman including:

--  A character in the film must face a situation above his or her
    maturity level
    
--  Each film must include the line "I demand an explanation for these
    shenanigans. What do you have to say?"
    
--  A character must pass a photograph to someone else
    

Submissions must be in English, or have English subtitles. Contestants must be 18 years or older and be a legal resident of one of the countries listed above.

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.