The 64th annual Cannes Film Festival kicks off this evening, with the popular French city playing host to celebrities, filmmakers and the latest movie projects from around the world.

In an effort to give those talented artists flying under the radar a shot at a little fame, the organization is getting ready to launch its third annual 48 Hour Ad Project, which partners filmmakers with charity organizations in need of some creative promotion.

The contest is open to those between the ages of 18 and 28 and will give participants only 48 hours to plan, shoot, edit and upload a 60-second ad for a chosen charity. Past organizations highlighted have included Oxfam and WaterAid.

Once the crazy 48 is up, it's your job to promote your video through social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Two winners will be chosen from a panel of judges, who will also take into account public reaction and number of views. The grand prize includes roundtrip tickets to Cannes, six nights' accommodation in the city, a delegate registration for Cannes Lions and spending money. They will also compete together as Team YouTube in the Young Film Lions Competition.

In addition to the 48-hour contest, Cannes and YouTube have launched a Good Work Competition, offering five people the chance to win trips to the festival by "using their creativity for a good cause." Instead of just one organization, hundreds have submitted briefs on YouTube that you can choose to help promote.

These are both fantastic initiatives on the part of Cannes to get young filmmakers involved in the festival — and to help increase awareness of some fantastic NGOs in the process. The 48 Hour Ad Project kicks off at midnight (GMT) on May 13. Both conclude on May 15. Grab more details here.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Cannes Film Festival launches charity competition
The 48 Hour Ad Project gives filmmakers just 48 hours to create a 1-minute spot for a charity organization.