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Kevin Smith casts Web for next great shorts

Internal panel will select five to be streamed on the Web each month
/ Source: Hollywood Reporter

With the challenge “We’ve shown you ours. Now show us yours,” filmmaker Kevin Smith is launching an online community, showcase and DVD series for aspiring filmmakers.

The Web site is scheduled to be unveiled Sept. 10.

Submissions must be 30 minutes or less, and an internal review panel will select five for streaming on the site each month. Visitors will vote on the five to select the monthly best, and the winning 12 will be compiled into a commercially released MoviesAskew DVD.

The 12 monthly winners also will be screened at the First Annual MoviesAskew Film Festival, which will be held either in the Los Angeles suburb of Westwood or in Smith’s hometown of Red Bank, N.J. Smith and actor Jason Mewes will select five of those 12, which will then be rescreened and subjected to an audience vote for overall best.

The annual winner will get “an apprentice position” on the next project from the director of such films as “Clerks” and “Jersey Girl” along with a package of home entertainment products.

Filmmakers will be charged an unspecified fee to submit their creation because, as Smith asks, “What? You thought it would be free?”

An introductory short on is cheerfully vulgar but gives few specifics. Styled like a 1950s health ed film, it explains a philosophy in which film class is “where innocent boys and girls” learn to be sexually violated by Hollywood. Appealing to those whose main interest in life is “running up dad’s credit card and buying that new XL2” digital video camera from Canon, the site promises that “with the right postproduction skills done on your home PC” anyone can turn their amateur footage “into a cinematic masterpiece.”