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YouTube's $500,000 hunt for world's best storyteller

Starting February 2, anyone can enter a 15-minute film into YouTube's Your Film Festival. Ultimately, one winner will get a half million dollars and the chance to work with famed movie director Ridley Scott on their next story.

YouTube announced its Your Film Festival project today. One winner will get $500,000 and the chance to turn their story into a worldwide phenomenon.
Screenshot by CNET

If you're a storyteller, wouldn't you want the chance to have "Gladiator" and "Blade Runner" auteur Ridley Scott help you with a project? And wouldn't it be great to have half a million dollars to spend on it?

That could be your future if you're the winner of YouTube's Your Film Festival, a competition to unearth the world's best storyteller that Google's video sharing site announced today.

Beginning February 2, YouTube will open up the film festival to anyone in the world who's 18 or older and has a film they consider good enough to stand up to global scrutiny.

"All genres and formats are welcome," the contest rules state, "live action short, animation, documentary, Web-series episode, TV pilot--you name it."

All that YouTube demands is that your video be story-driven and that it was never seen in public prior to January 1, 2010.

Contest judges will pick 50 semi-finalists, each of whose videos will then be voted on by a global audience. The top 10 vote getters will get then have their films shown at the 2012 Venice Film Festival. One winner will then be selected by a jury led by Scott and given a half-million dollar "production grant to work with Scott's team to create a new story for the world to see."

All entries must be entered by March 31, YouTube says.