The Help - Octavia Spencer Launches Film Contest

The Help star Octavia Spencer is spearheading a short film contest for budding directors.

The actress, who scooped the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2011, is inviting amateurs to create 20-minute films for her new competition.

Spencer will give away a new camera and a $1,000 (£625) cash prize to the best of the bunch, and she'll also showcase the winning entry online.

In a post on her Facebook.com page, Spencer writes, "I was struck this past week when a young filmmaker asked me how I coped when my dreams felt far from my grasp. My answer to her and all of you is I always feel mine are always within reach.

"What many people don't know is that it takes an average of 15 years to become an overnight success. In that time you must create and continue to hone your skills. If you are a musician, write poetry and turn it into an amazing song. If you are a filmmaker write a short and shoot it. I've done it twice now. I know it's not easy.

"Two of my friends shot beautiful, award winning shorts on the Canon Eos 60D. One of those films was shortlisted to potentially receive an Oscar nomination yesterday. Trust me I know money is tight. So, in honor of award season, I'd like to help someone else see their dream realized. Good luck. This is my way to pay it forward."

All submissions must be posted on Spencer's Facebook page by 10 February (13).


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