Babelgum online film festival boots up

Spike Lee again will judge winners in four categories

ROME -- The second Babelgum online film festival got under way Monday with some 630 entries that will vie for 100,000 euros ($128,000) in prize money split between four categories.

As with the first edition, director Spike Lee will select the winners in each category after entries are whittled to 10-film shortlists by a wider jury of professionals and from online voting.

Winners of the four categories -- shorts, animation, documentaries and "mini-masterpieces," experimental and bizarre stories limited to five minutes -- will receive 20,000 euros ($25,600) each. A fifth 20,000 euro prize will be given to a new filmmaker at the discretion of Lee and the festival jury.

"The submissions to the festival once again prove that independent filmmakers are excited to have found a new place to showcase their work," Lee said.

Although the number of films is lower than the more than 1,000 projects entered into the first edition of the festival, those entries were spread among seven categories.

The films will be screened and voted on until April 2.
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