May 22, 2008

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.
Babelgum Winners

Left to right, Chris & Chris, Presenters; winners: Richard Recco, USA, Short film prize; Remy Schaepman, France, Animation prize; Andrea Lodovichetti, Italy, Looking for Genius Award; Ambroise Becchi, Italy, Spot/Advertising prize; Brian Deane, Ireland,Social-Environment prize; Emanuel Exitu, Italy, Documentary prize; Antonin de Bemels, Belgium, Music Video Prize; Spike Lee, director ,Chair of Babelgum Jury; Silvio Scaglia, Founder of Babelgum and Fastweb.

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.
Sandra Ruch, Emanuel Exitu, Ally Derks

Jurors and Winner of Babelgum Documentary Award. Left: Sandra Ruch, Executive Director, International Documentary Association (IDA). Middle: Emanuel Exitu of Italy with "Greater - Defeating AIDS" for the documentary prize Winner, Babelgum. Right: Ally Derks, Director, International Documentary Film Amsterdam (IDFA)

"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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