Amy Gebhardt has won the YouTube-Screen Australia online initiative, Map My Summer, and will now make a short film which will premiere at the Sydney Film Festival.

Gebhardt, a former IF Award rising talent nominee, was selected by filmmaker George Miller, who will now also mentor her project. The new short film will include footage submitted by the public to the Map My Summer initiative, where Australians can upload footage of how they spent their summer.

Miller selected Gebhardt's short film, Into the Sun, over two other short films by Ariel Kleiman and Luke Doolan.

In an unusual move, Screen Australia and YouTube selected each of the initial three filmmakers, paying them $5000 in exchange for the exclusive rights to their short films until July 1, and non-exclusive promotional rights after that time. The three projects can be seen here.

In a statement, Miller said: “I went with Amy’s film because I responded to it viscerally. Although its narrative was minimal, it was, moment to moment, compelling to watch. And once seen it stuck in the mind.”

Gebhardt said the invitation to build a film from the general public’s uploaded content presents a unique creative challenge.

"The resulting film will be an intriguing collective expression of our relationship to summer and identity," she said in a statement. "I am hoping some really personal stories will emerge as well as some unique visual styles that will colour the end result with something memorable. I think this initiative is quite an extraordinary way to develop content and to share with the world how we see ourselves."

Public entries to Map My Summer are being accepted until March 31. Videos must have been shot after December 1, 2010, be no longer than 3 minutes, and be an expression of summer.

Five people, whose footage is included in the final cut, will be invited to attend the premiere of the film at the Sydney Film Festival in June, with flights and accommodation provided.

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