Your Film Festival invites you to vote on the 50 semi-finalists

Voting is now open for Your Film Festival, the global competition that unites the Venice Film Festival, Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions, Emirates and YouTube’s community of film fans, in a quest to discover the next great storyteller.

The Scott Free team selected 50 semi-finalists from more than 15,000 short films submitted by creators worldwide. Now, it’s up to you, the fans, to vote for your favorites, and ultimately send 10 finalists to the Venice Film Festival.

At Venice, these 10 filmmakers will have their work screened as part of the opening days of the festival and judged by a grand prize jury of industry professionals, including Ridley Scott and actor Michael Fassbender. (Not familiar with either? Watch this trailer for the summer’s blockbuster film Prometheus now). The finalists will then pitch their next film project to the Ridley Scott team, all for the chance to win a $500,000 production grant to work with Ridley Scott’s award-winning team to create a new original work for YouTube.

So what are you waiting for? Vote for your favorite films on the Your Film Festival channel, and be part of the largest online film festival ever. Voting ends July 13, so cast your votes now!

Susan Agliata, program producer, recently watched “Speed of Light / aka / The World's Tiniest Police Chase.”

A global search for the world's best storytellers

One of the best parts of working at YouTube is helping connect creative voices from around the globe with the audiences they deserve. So, we've teamed up with Ridley Scott and Scott Free London, the Venice Film Festival, and Emirates to create Your Film Festival, a global competition that will provide one deserving entrant with a half million US dollars to work on their next great story. Here’s an overview:

Starting February 2, you can submit your short, story-driven videos (15 minutes or less) on Entry is free and open to people 18 years of age and above, and all genres and formats are welcome: live action short, animation, documentary, web-series episode, TV pilot — you name it. Your video must be story-driven, and cannot have been publicly shown or distributed prior to January 1, 2010. Full rules are available on the Your Film Festival Channel.

From there, the Scott Free team will select 50 semi-finalists from across the globe by June 2012. YouTube users will then vote for their favorites to select 10 finalists, whose videos will then be screened at the 2012 Venice Film Festival. A jury led by Ridley Scott will crown one grand prize winner, who will receive a $500,000 production grant to work with Scott’s team to create a new story for the world to see.

For more information, check out the Your Film Festival Channel, and get your entries in before March 31 at midnight ET.

We can't wait to see what you've got.

Nate Weinstein, entertainment marketing manager, recently watched “Panic Attack."

Life in a Day: request a screening, create a trailer and more

Today, we’ve got some exciting updates from editor Joe Walker and Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald about Life in a Day, the documentary shot by YouTube users about a single day on Earth.

First, as we previously announced, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the film’s making, there will be a sneak-peek premiere in cities across the US on July 24, five days before National Geographic begins to release the film in theaters nationwide. If you want Life in a Day to play in your town, visit the Life in a Day channel and request a screening. National Geographic, in partnership with Cinedigm, will collect your requests from now through August, and will try to bring the film to those towns and cities where the demand is highest (either for the July 24 premiere or the following release).

Second, you can also check out the Life in a Day Trailer Remixer. If you haven't already seen the trailer, we recommend watching it. After that, go to the Life in a Day channel or directly to the Remixer page, where you can edit and publish your own trailer to share with your friends and the world. All of the trailers will appear on the Life in a Day channel, and National Geographic may feature some of their favorites at the film’s premiere.

One more exciting announcement: Life in a Day opened theatrically this weekend in the United Kingdom to critical acclaim! According to a critic from The Telegraph, the 5-star film is "Extraordinary…the summer's most inspiring film." For users in the US, don't fret: National Geographic is bringing the film to theaters across the country in late July.

Be sure to subscribe to the Life in a Day channel for all the latest news, and check out the Life in a Day Facebook page for daily updates.

Nate Weinstein, Entertainment Marketing Manager, recently watched the "Life in a Day Trailer."