Meadows: YouTube has hidden talents

Shane Meadows is heading the judging panel for this year's Virgin Media Shorts awards

Shane Meadows has insisted there are hidden gems among the dearth of stupid and pointless videos posted online.

The Bafta-winning director - who is heading the judging panel for the Virgin Media Shorts competition in 2013 - admits social media and modern technology can have both a negative and positive affect on the film industry - but there is hope.

Shane said: "There are so many ways people can make and share films now with YouTube and Vimeo and technology being more accessible.

"It's not all just some stupid kid whose dad is a dentist who's stolen his laughing gas and filmed himself taking it in the car - there is real talent out there."

Shane is heading a judging panel which includes former Doctor Who star David Tennant and director Mat Whitecross, to choose a winner from this year's 13 finalists.

The This Is England director revealed he had not met up with judging panel yet, because he wanted them all to view the films alone and make their own minds up. He said: "Sometimes if you have a big personality on the panel they can make everyone else go with their decision. You might think something's rubbish and then somebody else convinces you it's the most amazing thing you've ever seen."

The shortlisted films, which are all just two minutes 20 seconds, can be viewed at www.virginmediashorts.co.uk and the winner chosen by the jury will receive £30,000 of funding towards their next film project, as well as mentoring from the BFI.

Shane said: "Without giving away my favourite there are certainly some films I would like to see made into a full-length feature."

The public can also help vote for the winner of The Nikon People's Choice Award by tweeting @VMShorts and using the hashtag #VMShortsVote or at Facebook.com/VirginMedia.

Voting closes at midnight on Monday October 21, 2013 and the winners will be announced in a ceremony at the BFI Imax on November 7, 2013.

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