Australians are encouraged to make short videos and share them online.

As part of a larger plan to connect local audiences with Australian content, Screen Australia is collaborating with YouTube on a project that encourages all Australians to make short videos about what summer means to them and share them online.

The national film agency funded three celebrated short filmmakers to inspire others with a contribution to the YouTube Map My Summer portal, and will also fund a short documentary, to be made by one of them from the uploaded footage.

Veteran filmmaker Dr George Miller (Happy Feet) [pictured] will choose who gets to make this final film, which will premiere at this year’s Sydney Film Festival (SFF), and will act as a mentor.

But Map My Summer, which was inspired by Kevin Macdonald’s Life In A Day, is not the end game. Behind the scenes the aim is to drive traffic to Screen Australia’s new YouTube channel which promotes Australian film via trailers, behind-the-scenes content and coverage of Australians on red carpet around the world.

“Screen Australia aims to grow and expand audiences for Australian content. Working with local distributors, we are able to complement their Australian release strategies by providing a new platform designed to communicate directly with audiences,” said Screen Australia’s head of marketing Kathleen Drumm.

Screen Australia will also provide online access to footage that documents Australian life since the 1930s thanks to the library that it inherited from the now defunct Film Australia. It was from here that an eight-minute compilation of footage of past Australian summers was cut and, due to cross-promotion through YouTube last week in advance of today’s official launch, the number of views shot up from a few hundred to nearly 10,000.

The three short films made by the filmmakers, calls to action from Miller and SFF director Clare Stewart, and other material was loaded on both the YouTube Map My Summer portal and Screen Australia’s channel today.

Either Ariel Kleiman, who just won a jury award at Sundance for Deeper Than Yesterday, Luke Doolan, who edited Animal Kingdom and received an Oscar nomination for his short film Miracle Fish, and Amy Gebhardt, who has won a number of prizes for her work, will be making the Map My Summer documentary.