YouTube Shorts @ NEXT WEEKEND Gives YouTubers a Chance for Their Work to Be Screened by Sundance

YouTube Next WeekendThought YouTube was all cat videos and Chocolate Rain? Think again! Okay yes -- most of them are cat videos (I'm not complaining,) but nowadays independent filmmakers are uploading videos that are gaining attention, paying their bills, and opening up doors for their careers. What kinds of doors? Well, for the first time, a major film festival will curate and screen a short film program exclusively featuring YouTube videos, thanks to the partnership between YouTube and Sundance to bring you YouTube Shorts @ NEXT WEEKEND. This means that not only will the big YouTube hitters, like CollegeHumor and VICE, have a chance at being in the lineup, but you as well.

Held this weekend (Aug. 8 - 11) in LA at Sundance Sunset Cinema, this is the first year of the NEXT WEEKEND film festival, which is an extension of the popular NEXT <=> section at the Sundance Film Festival. The 73-minute YouTube programming, YouTube Shorts @ NEXT WEEKEND, contains shorts from channels, like VICE, CollegeHumor, and Machinima, as well as some from individual users.

Raymond Braun, entertainment marketing manager at YouTube tells L.A. Biz:

The Sundance Film Festival programming team, led on this project by short film programmer Mike Plante, reviewed the wealth of content on YouTube and selected a lineup that reflected the energy, enthusiasm and aesthetic of NEXT WEEKEND. The program complements the feature films being shown at the festival and matches the spirit of the NEXT ⇔ category at Sundance Film Festival.

This gives indie filmmakers an opportunity to get their work seen by the folks at Sundance, however the competition is pretty stiff, with the likes of Sarah Silverman, BuzzFeed, and an assortment of users' videos that have gone viral being a part of the lineup. Here's a viral video from CollegeHumor that is a part of the programming:

What do you think? Does this sound like a good opportunity for indie filmmakers? Let us know in the comments.


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I really, really wish people would quit it with the cat video jokes. At this point youtube is so far above and beyond a video sharing site that it's kind of ridiculous to even suggest otherwise. The number of people who make a living entirely from ad revenue is through the roof and, like it or not, youtube is a major player in the indie scene.

August 10, 2013 at 7:50AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Bad idea. YouTube is basically an extension of America's Home Videos. Sundance is a tough fest to get in as it is. Now lame amateur videos like the one above are going to be seen there? Very sad, indeed.

August 10, 2013 at 10:06AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

Rick Buehler

Good idea because micro-budgeted independents and semi-independents are a perfect fit for a potential YouTube subscription channel ... even if it is a Nothing but Furry Creatures.

August 10, 2013 at 10:58AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Why the hell would Sundance want some lame shit from CollegeHumor?

August 10, 2013 at 12:22PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


CollegeHumor is the COMPETITION??? Seriously???

August 10, 2013 at 8:57PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


I noticed all the comments seem to put College Humor and "Youtube" content down like the quality and the context of the content is terrible. I think the real question you guys should be asking is what kind of earnings are we talking about?

August 11, 2013 at 1:03AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


I can't believe some of the comments on this article. Yes College Humor and various 'Cat Videos' are the big thing on YouTube but YouTube itself offers an amazing opportunity for filmmakers who can't afford or don't know the people to get their work showcased to large audiences. It's not about the money its about tapping into the pool of unnoticed artists that have put their work on the internet as their only option and now Sundance is giving them a chance to have their work showcased among the heavy hitters. This is an amazing opportunity.

August 12, 2013 at 12:51PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM