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Kevin Spacey joins short film competition judging panel

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Kevin Spacey to join search for up and coming British film talent
Virgin Media today announced that Kevin Spacey will be joining the judging panel for Virgin Media Shorts, the first ever short film competition to run across four screens – TV, cinema, mobile and computer. The competition aims to find the best up and coming British film makers.
Leading film and stage actor and Artistic Director at the Old Vic Theatre, Kevin Spacey will also be joined by:
* Oscar-nominated short film director, Daniel Barber
* Founder and chairman of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson
* Lenny Crooks, Head of the New Cinema Fund of the UK Film Council
Kevin Spacey commented: “I am delighted to be joining the judging panel for Virgin Media Shorts. This competition will provide a terrific opportunity for emerging talent to find a shop window for their work and it’s great that Virgin Media is supporting British film in this way. The film business is only as strong as the talent it attracts and it’s really important that we find new ways of engaging young filmmakers and showcasing their ideas and creativity. I’m sure that we’re going to see some great short films and I’m excited for the judging process to begin.”
These names are the first to be announced for the Virgin Media Shorts judging panel, with more big-name British film talent to be revealed soon.
Leading the panel through the judging process and taking the role as the chairman on the panel, will be Malcolm Wall, Virgin Media’s CEO of Content. One lucky Virgin Media customer will also win the chance to join the judging panel later this summer. Together the panel will evaluate the short listed films during the summer months, with the final winner to be announced at an awards ceremony in September.
Virgin Media Shorts, in association with FilmFlex, will offer maximum exposure for the short-listed film makers. The winning film maker will receive up to £30,000 towards their next film and the chance to work with Virgin Media and the UK Film Council on the project, and the winning film will be shown later this year on Virgin 1 – currently available to 22 million homes in the UK.
Each of the short listed films will be shown at cinemas across the UK, giving the budding film directors the chance to see their work exposed to hundreds of thousands of people each week. The films will be featured before the main attraction at 211 independent cinema screens up and down the country for a year. The short listed films will also be available to 3.5 million Virgin Media TV customers to watch for free through the FilmFlex service in the Movies on Demand section on their TV or through the Virgin Central channel. Virgin Mobile customers can download clips of the films through the Mobile Bites site. Meanwhile, all of the entries will be available to anyone to view and review online at www.virginmediashorts.co.uk , giving any budding film critics the chance to rate and comment on each short film.
The competition is currently open for film makers of all ages and backgrounds from across the UK to submit their short films for a chance to win the grand prize later this year. The short films, which must be a maximum of two and a half minutes long and suitable viewing for cinema goers, will then be reviewed and short listed to just 12 films by the prestigious judging panel. The deadline for entries is 30th June 2008.
For more information about Virgin Media Shorts and how to enter, visit www.virginmediashorts.co.uk.

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