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Enter the 40 Seconds Straight short film competition

The 40 Seconds Straight short film competition, in association with Direct Line Insurance, has launched to help give filmmakers a start.

The competition is looking for short film entries that take overly complicated situations and make them straightforward in 40 seconds.

The winner will attend the 2012 Cannes International Film Festival, and have their film screened at the Raindance Film Festival in September.

Judging the awards will be writer/comedian Chris Addison (above), TV presenter Alex Zane, Raindance festival founder Elliot Grove, Total Film Associate Editor Jane Crowther and Kerry Chilvers, Marketing Director at Direct Line.

Chris Addison said: “It's hard for anyone starting out in film to get their work seen, no matter how talented.

"So, competitions like this are a great way for them to start to find an audience and hopefully a foot on the ladder."

The Critics’ Choice wins the top prize, and there is also a People’s Choice, with the top ten shortlisted films going to a vote on the campaign’s YouTube page.

The film with the most views on YouTube after 2 weeks wins tickets to the British Independent Film Awards after-show party. All shortlisted films receive a year’s free membership to Raindance.

Films can be submitted from now until 8 August 2011 at and you can follow the competition on Twitter at @forty_seconds .