YouTube Screening Room Launches

This evening, I’m updating live from the YouTube Screening Room launch party in Los Angeles, where a press conference will reveal more details about YouTube’s plans to showcase and distribute online high-quality short films from around the world — four shorts to be released every two weeks, with feature-length projects to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Press release includes strong language about “creating new business opportunities for filmmakers,” with all participants enrolled in revenue-sharing and able to link out to sites where the films are available for sale.

UPDATED (Thursday): The first set of short films includes Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody? written by Miranda July (Me and You And Everyone We Know) and directed by Miguel Artega (Chuck and Buck), which was first premiered in 2006 in Wholphin DVD Magazine:

The other films featured are:

  • The Danish Poet, written and directed by Torill Kove, and winner of the 2007 Academy Award for Best Animated Short
  • Our Time is Up, written and directed by Rob Pearlstein, and nominated for the 2006 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short
  • Love and War, written and directed by Fredrik Emilson, released in 2006

Chris is skeptical about the program’s success — what I’m still wondering, though, is if this really will give the undiscovered filmmaker a chance to get greater exposure. While YouTube Film and Animation Manager Sara Pollack was vague on how future films will be selected by an undisclosed editorial team, citing a process of word-of-mouth and filmmaker outreach, she did promise that filmmakers could email YouTube directly at ytscreeningroom@youtube.com to pitch their films. Hopefully they’ll be able to find some hidden gems in the mass of unsolicited submissions they’re doomed to receive — if only so the Screening Room can occasionally feature films produced in the last year.

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