Babelgum Awards Directors at Cannes
Director Spike Lee was in Cannes to hand out awards of $31,360 each to seven emerging directors whose work was championed by Internet users in an online film festival hosted by Babelgum, an Internet company that streams videos online for free.
The awards ceremony late Tuesday was hosted on the sidelines of the famous French Riviera festival. About 2,000 short films were submitted, and 1,012 films from 86 countries were picked to compete. Hundreds of thousands of people watched the movies, posted comments or voted on their favorite picks.
Films that generated buzz online were whittled down by a jury, and Lee had the final say. Lee believes there's more interesting, innovative material online than on TV or in movie theaters.
"If people want what's standard they're going to watch television,'' he told The Associated Press. "First of all, people are getting tired of having stuff chosen for them. They want to make up their own program. They also want to be introduced to new things - new ideas, new thoughts, new stories, new talent, new people.''
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