An online global short film contest attempts to bring in different perspectives of the nation through the digital platform, YouTube
Six months ago, nobody was aware of the South Korean singer, Psy but today, his ‘Gangnam style’ has become a sensation across the globe, thanks to YouTube, and his music video has been watched over 680 million times on this video-sharing website. “90 plus per cent of the world’s online video watching population watches videos on YouTube,” said Nikesh Arora, Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer, Google.
Now, YouTube, a subsidiary of Google Inc., has partnered with The Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India to announce a unique initiative, inviting people all over the world to participate in an online short film contest titled ‘India is... a visual journey.’ “The idea is to get young people from across the world to show India from their perspective on YouTube. The contest showcases technology, it showcases India in a very positive light and is also a mechanism for self-expression for youth of the country,” says Arora.
This is the second time that MEA has launched this campaign, the first was kick started on September 2011. “‘It (India is’) was the first web-based campaign initiated by us to connect and interact with people from all over the world and make them think about India. In the first year alone, we received more than 250 video entries on India from 42 countries,” says Riva Ganguly Das, Joint Secretary and Head of Public Diplomacy Division of MEA. Last year, the winners comprised four Indian participants and three International from Italy, Slovakia and The United Kingdom.
The overwhelming response was the reason for the ministry to re-launch the content. Open to users till February 9, the participation involves a simple process of logging in on the Youtube channel www.youtube.com/Indiais post which the user can submit a five-minute short film based on either of the three category — ‘India is incredible’, ‘India is unforgettable’ and ‘India is wherever you are.’
Interestingly, the channel also features a video on last year’s contest highlights, a gallery where the user can view the other entries in the three categories as well as an eminent jury panel that is currently being worked upon. Though, one of the jury members is Anurag Kashyap, who has partnered with the portal and will also produce five short films for this contest