YouTube and Emirates, in partnership with the Venice Film Festival and Scott Free have launched the competition to find the best 15-minute video storyteller.

Entrants can make the film about any subject in whichever genre they choose. Scott Free will review the entries before ten finallists selected by global viewers will travel to the Venice in late August where their work will screen in a special programme at the festival.

A jury will select the winner who will receive a $500,000 YouTube original production grant and a development deal at Scott Free Productions. YouTube partnered with Scott Free on the documentary Life In A Day, which premiered at Sundance a year ago.

“YouTube is committed to bringing entertaining, original content to a global audience and Your Film Festival is another example of our investment in great creators worldwide,” Robert Kyncl, global head of content at YouTube, said. “Through this programme, YouTube will give filmmakers the opportunity to reach a vast audience, screen their work during the Venice Film Festival and potentially be rewarded in a career-changing way.”

“Short filmmaking is exactly where I started my career 50 years ago, so to be helping new filmmakers find an entry point like this into the industry is fantastic,” Ridley Scott [pictured] said. “It’s great to be partnering with YouTube again for this global search for the next generation of exciting filmmakers.”

“The foundation of the Emirates brand is connecting people,” Emirates divisional svp of corporate communications Boutros Boutros said. “As an airline, we link people from one destination to another and we also act as a cultural bridge for people’s thoughts, ideas and dreams.”

“Through our sponsorship of Your Film Festival we are supporting the journey of emerging filmmakers through YouTube’s innovative entertainment platform,” Alberto Barbera, the Venice Film Festival’s recently appointed artistic director, said. “The festival has such a wonderful and rich history with launching great talent. We’re thrilled to remain on the cutting edge and let the world participate in our festival.”

Submissions open on Feb 2 and close on Mar 31, 2012.