European VOD Service Viewster Kicks Off $100,000 Online Film Competition

1:23 AM PST 03/14/2014 by Scott Roxborough
Viewster

Users can vote on the 84 shorts and features submitted to the inaugural Viewster Online Film Fest.

European VOD service Viewster has launched its first-ever online film festival, putting up $100,000 in prize money for the best short or feature submitted by users of its online platform.

The Viewster Online Film Festival launched Friday with some 84 entries and will run for the next two weeks. Anyone can sign up to Viewster (at Viewster.com) to watch the submissions and rate them.

The top 10 titles will go on a short list. Then a jury, made up of U.S. producer Ted Hope (21 Grams), Finnish director Timo Vuorensola (Iron Sky) and German actress Nora Tschirner (Rabbit Without Ears) will pick three winners: first prize will receive $70,000, second $20,000 and third $10,000.

“We are really pleased with the quality and variety of the submissions,” Viewster exec Tilman Eberle told The Hollywood Reporter. “The idea of the festival is really to show creative talent there is an alternative way to get your film out there to an audience, to do distribution in a different way.”

Aside from the prize money, producers of the winning films can decide to enter into revenue-sharing deals with Viewster following the event.

Swiss-based Viewster has carved out a niche for itself in independent and foreign-language material on its VOD site as it tries to distinguish itself from more mainstream-focused services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime.

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