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Calling all amateur filmmakers: new online public access channel aims to help fund, distribute films

Interested filmmakers can submit their videos to

Interested filmmakers can submit their videos to

New Yorkers looking for public access content will have a new online hub to watch thanks to three former Vice Media coworkers.

The trio -- Alexandra Serio, Kareem Ahmed, and Max Nelson -- recently launched NYC.TV, a platform where independent video makers can submit work otherwise not seen in other media.

"People submit videos and we're not looking for anything super creative or looking like a movie," Ahmed said. "We're looking for stuff that is compelling, something that is uniquely a New York experience. We want people that come to us."

They started the venture after years of hearing about friends who created films, but had no way to get them funded or distributed. Then Ahmed and Serio made a short film and ended up going through the same grueling process of procuring equipment and developing a product without any idea of how to get it out to the public afterwards.

They said realized that there was nothing on the Internet that was locally focused. They decided on a public access online channel.

"It's essentially...the equivalent of public access TV on internet," said Ahmed. "Quality is much better content is better, lifting off the model of community based programing invested in the culture of the city."

The site will publish one video per day and people can submit their videos via email. While the vetting process is not restrictive (they allow any genre to be submitted), the filmmakers have to reside in New York City.

They also hope to fund some filmmakers through their Kickstarter campaign, looking for people who have more developed ideas, or are working on interesting projects around the city, but have a hard time getting money to move forward.

The founders hope that their start up model will replicate in other cities, and independent filmmakers will have more opportunities through an online venue.

"We want to prove where we live, and then we want to take it to cities around the world," Ahmed said. "Global independent programming for the people by the people, instead of programming for the people by a company. We want to show what's happening in London, Paris, Austin, or Minneapolis. New York is only the beginning."

Interested filmmakers can submit their videos to


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