Toronto Film Festival, Instagram Launch Digital Shorts Competition

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Paley Center For Media
Ava DuVernay

'Selma' director Ava DuVernay, James Franco and Priyanka Chopra are among the judges for the TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival.

The Toronto International Film Festival, taking notice of the flurry of photos and videos posted to Instagram, has partnered with the Facebook-owned app to launch a digital shorts competition.

The TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival will see new and established filmmakers from around the globe invited to upload original 60-seconds-or-fewer film shorts, using Instagram. TIFF programmers will select 30 finalists to be showcased on the film festival's website and an Instagram channel in August before a six-person jury selects a Judge’s Choice award winner.

The video contest jury includes Selma helmer Ava DuVernay, filmmaker Xavier Dolan (Mommy), music video director Nabil Elderkin and stop-motion animation artist Rachel Ryle. Toronto organizers on July 14 added James Franco, Priyanka Chopra and Ben Richardson to the jury.

Online audiences also will vote with likes on Instagram to select a Fan Favorite award winner. Instagram recently announced it has passed 500 million monthly users. Most of the app's user base comes from outside the U.S. market or around 100 million monthly users.

"Our collaboration with Instagram is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the work of filmmakers from all over the world and discover up-and-coming talent through the world’s largest creative digital community, showcased by the world’s largest public film festival," TIFF director and CEO Piers Handling said Wednesday in a statement.

Awards for the inaugural TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival will be announced on Aug. 18.

July 14, 8:15 a.m. Updated to indicate James Franco, Priyanka Chopra and Ben Richardson added to competition jury.

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