Australians are no strangers to short movie festivals and awards. Tropfest NY is the world’s largest short film festival and it was founded by actor/director/producer John Polson over twenty years ago in a little Italian café in the inner city suburb of Darlinghurst, Sydney. Now Tropfest has been joined by the Online Video Awards, based in southern Australian city of Melbourne.
The Online Video Awards – OVA for short – may have been open to entries only from Australian short moviemakers showing their online though don’t let that stop you sampling the work of some talents from the land down under. Entries closed Friday August 15 Australian time but movies submitted are available for viewing online at www.ovas.tv/site/entrylist.cfm. Finalists will be announced Monday September 15 and winners will be revealed Tuesday October 14.
Moviemaking in general has been going through challenging times in Australia of late. Changes in government have made producers, directors, crew and talent more than a little nervous with big cuts to state and federal film funding as well as to the budgets of the two national public broadcasters being announced and enacted. Against that background it is great to see Victorian industry bodies Open Channel and ScreenPro.tv joining forces to expose and promote Australian creative talent.
Victorian state film funding agency Film Victoria and Screen Network have been joined by YouTube in supporting the career-enhancing initiative. Furthering the Australian-in-the-US theme, OVA patron Jehan Ratnatunga studied at Open Channel in Melbourne before being snapped up by YouTube in Los Angeles.
Let’s hope that other local talents will be picked up by the industry outside and within Australia as a result of the Online Video Awards.
New Awards to Unite and Celebrate Online Video Creators
Via OVA Press Release:
Entries are now open for the Australian Online Video Awards (the OVAs). The national awards, presented by Open Channel and ScreenPro.tv, aim to recognise the work of online video content makers in Australia.
Supported by Film Victoria, Screen Network, FilmInk and Pozible, the OVAs will showcase leading talent in the online space.
Significant career-making prizes are on offer, including a trip to YouTube’s Creator Space in Los Angeles to learn from the world leaders in online video production and marketing, supported by YouTube.
Patron for the awards, Jehan Ratnatunga, is an alumni of Open Channel and was then hired by YouTube’s LA team to head up strategic projects.
Jehan said “Today, Australian online video creators are drawing huge audiences – often on par with their film and television counterparts. The Australian Online Video Awards is a fantastic way to recognise them for their creative works.”
The award categories are:
Best one-off Comedy
Best Comedy Series
Best one-off Drama
Best Drama Series
Best Factual Series
Best Music Video
Best Collaboration Innovation Award Best Overall
The winners will be announced on Tuesday 14 October at Docklands Studios, Melbourne, in a celebration showcasing the winners work in a fun and interactive way.
Open Channel’s Executive Director Marc Gracie said “For the past few years Open Channel has responded to the emerging Victorian screen sector with courses and programs that grow creativity and skills using online distribution models. Finding an audience online and testing your creative instincts can be immediate, fruitful and help develop solid professional screen careers. These awards allow us to evangelize the net as the predominant screen development tool.”
The entry and judging process will be coordinated by ScreenPro.tv, a website launched by Founder Simon Britton to provide screen content creators with a platform to develop audiences for their work.
“At ScreenPro.tv, we’ve been helping content makers connect with audiences for the last five years. In that time, we've seen a massive increase in the quality and quantity of online episodic video. Everyone entering the OVAs will have a special opportunity to have their work viewed by a panel of industry leaders. The OVAs will make a huge difference to industry awareness of the great work being done by Australian content creators,” Mr Britton said.
The awards celebration will take place as part of Open Channel’s ‘Generation Next’ conference.
Entries open Monday 7 July
Entries close Friday 15 August
Finalists announced Monday 15 September
Winners announced Tuesday 14 October
(cover photo credit: snap from openchannel.org)