New awards to unite and celebrate online video creators

Open Channel and ScreenPro.tv today announced new industry awards to recognise the work of online video content makers for the first time in Australia.

Supported by Film Victoria and Screen Network, the Australian Online Video Awards (the OVAs) will showcase leading talent in the online space. Online video is created specifically to reach audiences through platforms such as YouTube.

Significant career-making prizes are on offer, including a trip to YouTube’s Creator Space in Los Angeles to learn from the world leaders in online video production and marketing, supported by YouTube.

Patron for the awards, Jehan Ratnatunga, studied at Open Channel before being hired by YouTube’s LA team to head up strategic projects.

Speaking from YouTube’s LA office, Jehan said “Today, Australian online video creators are drawing huge audiences – often on par with their film and television counterparts. The Australian Online Video Awards is a fantastic way to recognise them for their creative works.”

The winners will be announced on Tuesday 14 October at Docklands Studio, Melbourne, in a celebration showcasing the winners work in a fun and interactive way.

Open Channel’s Executive Director Marc Gracie said “For the past few years Open Channel has responded to the emerging Victorian screen sector with courses and programs that grow creativity and skills using online distribution models. Finding an audience online and testing your creative instincts can be immediate, fruitful and help develop solid professional screen careers. These awards allow us to evangelize the net as the predominant screen development tool.”

The entry and judging process will be coordinated by ScreenPro.tv, a website launched by Founder Simon Britton to provide screen content creators with a platform to develop audiences for their work.

“At ScreenPro.tv, we’ve been helping content makers connect with audiences for the last five years. In that time, we've seen a massive increase in the quality and quantity of online episodic video. Everyone entering the OVAs will have a special opportunity to have their work viewed by a panel of industry leaders. The OVAs will make a huge difference to industry awareness of the great work being done by Australian content creators,” Mr Britton said.

The awards celebration will take place as part of Open Channel’s ‘Generation Next’ conference. Key dates: Entries open Monday 7 July

Entries close Friday 15 August
Finalists announced Monday 15 September Winners announced Tuesday 14 October

See www.ovas.tv or www.openchannel.org.au for more information.