New York - Nikon unveiled Tuesday a contest for budding filmmakers designed to encourage creative productions using the advanced video recording capabilities of its newest digital SLRs.
The contest, which will award a up to $100,000 and Nikon equipment to the winner, will be part of the camera maker's first ever "Nikon Festival," which is being used to "celebrate, inspire and harness the current popularity of content creation shared through social media," the company said.
Contest participants will upload 140-second short-form videos with the theme "A Day through Your Lens" to www.nikonfestival.com and follow the campaign @nikonfestival on Twitter.
As part of the project, Nikon's celebrity spokesman and actor Ashton Kutcher will turn the D5000 d-SLR on himself and share his videos with the world.
Nikon will promote the festival with a national TV broadcast and online advertising campaign that will run through the end of the year. The video submission period begins November 10 and will be open for entries for a six-week period.
"The Nikon Festival represents the progressive nature of our brand in merging social media with innovative products as a way to engage and empower aspiring photographers and filmmakers," stated Lisa Baxt, Nikon senior communications manager. "Nikon is committed to advancing HD video with the D5000 and other products and supporting it with an integrated marketing program that has a strong impact and is viral in nature. As part of this campaign, the festival presents the opportunity for current and future Nikon customers to tell their story with HD video."
Festival judges for the contest were selected from the TV, photography and social media fields and include actor/writer Rainn Wilson, Internet personality Justine Ezarik (iJustine), and visionary photographer Chase Jarvis. In addition to chosing the contest winner, each will share personal videos shot with a Nikon d-SLR camera.
The Nikon Festival entries will be judged in December and winners will be announced in January.
Entrants, who may register at www.nikonfestival.com, will be asked to create videos in 140 seconds or less, capturing the essence of a day in their life. As videos are uploaded, they can be automatically shared with entrants' social networks, including Twitter and Facebook, allowing instantaneous campaigning for views and votes.
Although entrants are not required to use a specific camera, judges will be providing direction to meet the criteria of image quality, originality and ability to capture a day through their lens in 140 seconds.
Festival entrants will have the opportunity to win one of two awards: an audience award and a judges' award. The winning video selected by the festival judges will be awarded $100,000 and Nikon equipment to pursue and chronicle their dreams.
Additionally, the video getting the highest average rating and most audience views will be awarded a $25,000 Audience Award and Nikon equipment.
Entrants encouraged to use social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, to share submissions and gain views and votes.