Legendary graphic designer and filmmaker Hillman Curtis to be on Metafest Film Fest jury

Metacafe, one of the largest video entertainment websites, and Microcinema International, a leading international rights manager, are teaming to create MetaFest 2008. MetaFest is a juried online and offline film festival presenting the best in international creative and contemporary short-form video entertainment.

The MetaFest call for entries, which opens today, invites short video, film and digital media submissions of 10 minutes or less that are narrative, humorous, artistic, dramatic, animated, documentary, mockumentary, music, experimental, alternative or avant-garde in any genre, format or style. Films that demonstrate engaging storytelling, innovative presentation, creative expression, and bridge the worlds of online and offline entertainment in a unique and compelling way are preferred. Additional details are available at www.metacafe.com/metafest, where films can be uploaded for consideration through September 10th, 2008.

The MetaFest jury includes Hillman Curtis, an award-winning filmmaker, designer and author whose books include Creating Short Films for the Web, and Glenn R. Phillips, who is senior project specialist and consulting curator of contemporary programs for the Getty Research Institute and recently curated the California Video exhibition.

“Short-form video is a rapidly emerging entertainment genre, and content creators – independent filmmakers to boutique production firms and major media companies – are beginning to make highly entertaining, innovative works well-suited to the online medium,” said Mark Poggi, senior manager of content marketing for Metacafe. “We expect MetaFest to showcase some truly original short films that tell great stories, feature quality production values and use technology creatively.”

MetaFest combines the best of the interactive online video-viewing experience with the best of the live-audience offline film festival experience. Selected films will have a theatrical premiere in San Francisco in November 2008, will be showcased on Metacafe.com for six months, and be screened at dozens of “microcinema” events across the U.S. and around the world through the first half of 2009.

“This is an exciting time to be a filmmaker, as the Internet has opened up a much greater distribution opportunity for short films and helped foster a large and growing audience seeking out and enjoying this content,” said Patrick Kwiatkowski, co-founder and CEO of Microcinema International. “MetaFest is designed to help talented creators gain additional exposure and build their fanbase worldwide by combining the best of both the online and offline worlds.”

The jury will select a grand prize winner who will be awarded $5,000 cash and a “short-short” award winner for outstanding work in a video of three minutes or less who will receive $2,000 cash. Two audience-choice award winners – one selected at the theatrical premiere and one selected by Metacafe viewers – will receive $1,000 each as well as DVD selections worth $250 from the Microcinema DVD catalog. All award winners will be prominently featured on the Metacafe home page for 10 days and receive additional exposure through marketing and publicity efforts. Additionally, the creator of each film selected for the MetaFest offline program will receive a cash honorarium of $50. Creators of MetaFest entries that meet the program requirements for the Metacafe Producer Rewards® program are eligible to be paid for their work at the rate of $5 per 1,000 views.

MetaFest sponsorships are currently being developed with leading brands interested in leveraging short-form video and social media to build awareness and engagement with a targeted audience of filmmakers and entertainment enthusiasts.