Spike Lee jurist for Web film fest

Sept. 3, 2007 at 3:31 PM
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VENICE, Italy, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. director Spike Lee has been tapped as chief juror and promoter during the launch of an online film festival during the Venice Film Festival.

The Babelgum event, scheduled to announce winners in April 2008, will showcase movies under 45 minutes long, shot in English or with English-language subtitles, Variety reported. The global Internet TV network is owned by Italian media mogul Silvio Scaglia.

Confusion has encircled the Web festival's submission requirements. Originally organizers said entries had to have been shown at an international film festival; however, Lee told Variety he disagrees with that rule and will have it removed.

"The main thing is we want quality films from bona fide film directors and real production companies," said Babelgum CEO Valerio Zingarelli.

Submissions to the online fest will be open between Sept. 15 and Feb. 15. Voting from online viewers will determine the first selection of entries that will be judged by Lee and other jurors.

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