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Amazon, Tribeca Launch Online Film Festival, Inc. and the Tribeca Film Festival announced the launch of the Amazon Theater/Tribeca Film Festival Short-Film Competition.

Through April 13, 2005, will accept short-film submissions for entry into the competition. Filmmakers can submit films that are up to seven minutes in length. customers will be able to view the submitted films in the Tribeca Screening Room on the company’s Web site, where they will be invited to rate the films on a scale from one to five, using the existing star rating system. Additionally, five celebrity jurors from the Tribeca Film Festival will review selected film submissions alongside customers and provide their commentary on the site.

The five highest-rated films will be screened at Tribeca Cinemas in New York City and will run over a period of four weeks on the home page, which is visited by millions of customers each day. The top filmmaker as rated by customers will receive a grant of $50,000 for his or her next film, which will be awarded in the form of an American Express prepaid card in the amount of $50,000. The winning filmmaker will be announced in early July.

Amazon Services has selected Macromedia Flash video as its exclusive online video format for the Amazon Theater Short Film Competition, which will showcase up-and-coming filmmakers.

Beginning immediately, filmmakers can register and submit their films at

. Once registered, filmmakers will receive a version of Sorenson Squeeze and a special offering from Metro Encoding of Los Angeles to encode their films in Flash video format. Short-film submissions will be available for viewing and voting by the general public on at the end of May.