Screen Grab: The Digital Film Festival (dfilm.com) is looking for submissions for the next festival. But while all the flicks must be made on computer, applicants are advised to print tape copies and mail them via snail mail to the D.Film HQ. The deadline is January 18. See the site for details. . . .
Up With People: Though it's still just a placeholder, Netslaves (http://www.disobey.com/ netslaves/ index.htm) gets big points for the concept. The two-week-old site promises true-life "horror stories" from the new-media frontier. It's intended as a jab at the "whole instability" of the industry, says its (currently unemployed) creator, Bill Lessard. "You're in an accelerated sector of an accelerated economy and burnout comes at 30. It's like Menudo or Logan's Run." There's not much more than a single testimonial up there now. But, as usual, the action's with the other readers on the heavily populated list-serv "It's like an AA meeting," says Lessard. (Sign up on the site.) On a related note, don't miss the "Pathfinder Museum" link on the site a poker-faced tribute to the "greatest content disaster in the short history of New Media." . . .
Noisy Signatures: Over 2000 folks have keystroked their names to a petition created by Hunter College new-media prof Clay Shirky. The document, hosted at civic initiative ethepeople.com, encourages the feds to consider using open-source software like Linux the next time they invest in technology. (Find it at shirky.com/opensource.) It's a gamble that those 2000 names are legit ethepeople.com doesn't seem to be working very well. Other recent "petitions" were four copies of "Why the Northeast Has Been So Warm This Year" signed by one person each. . . .
Glasswork: The 3-D T-Rex at the IMAX cinema gets points for pyrotechnics, but the Philip Glass/Robert Wilson "digital opera" Monsters of Grace is one of the most spiritual applications of technology I've seen. A magically slow, computer-generated film (by the team that animated Stargate and, er, Judge Dredd), runs along with the performance. Akin to Koyaanisqatsi (which had a Glass score), it's a profound meditation on landscape, surface, and spectacle. The team managed to catch the look of digital fire even A Bug's Life couldn't get that one right. The show runs unil December 20 at BAM. For tickets call 718-636-4100.