Writer/director Jason Reitman has gone well beyond being simply the son of the man who brought us Meatballs, Stripes, and Ghostbusters. His first feature, Thank You for Smoking, was bought during a money-flying frenzy at TIFF. His second, Juno, is already collecting a big fan base, and it hasn't been released yet. So really, if there is someone a filmmaker would want to notice them -- it'd be a hot, up-and-coming, successful director. Webaware has posted that Reitman will help judge a new YouTube short film contest that should prove to be pretty tasty to aspiring filmmakers.

The contest, called Project Direct, is looking for short films about characters who face "a situation above his or her maturity level," that includes a scene where one character passes a photo to another, and it must feature the phrase: "I demand an explanation for these shenanigans. What do you have to say?" These stipulations come from Reitman himself, and I have got to give him props for the use of the word "shenanigans."

Contestants must be from one of the following countries: the U.S., Canada, U.K., Brazil, France, Italy, and Spain -- and YouTube has explained: "While we wish we could include residents of all countries in Project Direct, many countries have different laws about running contests and we weren't able to devise a contest with rules that are fair and work the same for everyone around the world." To those eligible: the films must be in English, or have English subtitles, run from 2-7 minutes long, and be submitted by November 9.

As part of the initial panel, Reitman will judge the submissions to narrow the field to 20 vids. (That's a wee bit of work!) Instead of getting the easy job of picking a winner from a handful of entries, that honor will go to the YouTube community. The winner will be named on December 5, and receive a $5,000 debit card, a spot on YouTube's homepage, and a trip to a big film fest that includes a meeting with top Fox Searchlight execs. Not too shabby. Good luck filmmakers!