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Venice 2012: Spanish Filmmaker David Victori Wins $500K in YouTube Contest

YouTube Launches Dedicated Ramadan Channel

The Your Film Festival cash award comes with a promise that Michael Fassbender and Ridley Scott will co-produce Victori's next production.

VENICE – Spanish filmmaker David Victori won the freshman edition of YouTube’s $500,000 Your Film Festival, an online competition for short films.

Victori’s 13-minute film The Guilt tells the story of a man bent on revenge after his wife was murdered as part of a holdup. The award ceremony, in which Victori was presented the honor by actor Michael Fassbender, was made on the sidelines of the Venice Film Festival on Sunday.

Fassbender, who won a Venice Golden Lion prize for Best Actor for last year’s sexual addition drama Shame, and director Ridley Scott headed the jury that selected Guilt from among ten finalists culled from what YouTube officials said were “thousands” of submissions. The ten finalists, all of which were between 10 and 15 minutes in length, screened ahead of the award ceremony.

Scott did not make the trip to Venice following the death of his brother and fellow film director Tony Scott on August 19.

The award earns Victori -- who will turn 30 on Thursday -- $500,000 in prize money, plus the promise that Fassbender and Scott will be executive producers on his next project.

“It was a good story, with good acting, and you knew where to put the camera, which is good,” Fassbender told Victori, calling the directorial effort “mature and confident.”

Victori’s family made the trip to Venice for the event, and several members screamed in delight when his name was announced as the winner.

The Your Film Festival contest is by far the largest film contest hosted by YouTube, the subsidiary of Internet giant Google. The event also calls to mind the now discontinued Babelgum online film festival, which was first announced five years ago in Venice.

Aside from career honors, the Your Film Festival prize is the first award handed out at this year’s edition of the Venice Film Festival, which concludes Sept. 8.