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Filmaka: We Have a Winna!

4/28/2008 6:35 AM — a kind of YouTube for people who consider themselves real moviemakers (see Seeks Aspiring Auteurs Online) – has picked its first big contest winner.

Nuru Rimington-Mkali, a 21-year-old from southeast London, was selected out of a field of 3,600 aspiring auteurs for his short, "And I Refuse to Forget." Filmaka will produce his first feature film. 

The concept behind the site is to operate as an "Internet studio," with very low development costs. Entries into Filmaka’s contests are judged by Hollywood notables, which include indie-film directors Werner Herzog, Neil LaBute, Paul Schrader and Wim Wenders.

But the company — led by ex-Fox Television honcho Sandy Grushow and founded by film producer Deepak Nayar — wants to go beyond just playing clips on the Web to help its members land real TV and movie distribution deals.

Rimington-Mkali beat out 36 other finalists from 15 different countries in the contest, which solicited films on the theme of "The Secret Adventures of…" He’ll be repped by William Morris Agency.

"I have been making films for several years, spurred by a passion for cinema and joining the Filmaka community has allowed me to pursue my ultimate dream of creating a feature film," said Rimington-Mkali in a statement.

Filmaka is launching its next annual content (on the theme "Behind Closed Doors"). Among other new projects, it’s working with FX Network on a contest to develop a comedy for the Fox network

The aim, again, is to unearth original material that’s a cut above your standard YouTube contribution but perhaps that’s not saying much…