Sci Fi Channel plans to launch an online contest this month in search of the next great science-fiction filmmaker.
The network’s “Explore” contest, run in conjunction with Sundance Channel, is an eight-week competition soliciting people to submit short films on SciFi.com or Sundancechannel.com. Site visitors can vote on the best shorts each week, and the eight winning films will appear in a one-hour special on Sci Fi Channel.
Viewers will then vote on the best of those eight, and that winner will fly to New York to meet with Sci Fi development executives to pitch his or her idea for a sci-fi flick.
It’s the network’s first foray into user-generated content and part of a growing movement by cable networks to turn to the Web for new talent. Networks such as Comedy Central and E! have also looked online to find new producers and filmmakers for both broadband and on-air venues.
“We need to find and develop talent,” said Craig Engler, senior VP of SciFi.com.