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Prestigious Beijing Student Film Festival Partners With Video Site Youku To Collect Short Movie Entries Online And Establish New Web Awards March 10, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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Youku, China’s leading Internet video website, announced its official sponsorship of the Beijing Student Film Festival. The festival, now in its 17th year, highlights the original works of college students and has traditionally been an influential platform and a launch pad for careers in the Chinese film industry. Youku, as the only recognized official online sponsor and the first video site to partner with the Festival, will provide for the first time an online platform where participants can upload and share their applications with all Internet users — and compete for the brand new Web Awards.

Organized by Beijing Normal University and Beijing Municipal Bureau of Radio, Film and Television, the Beijing Student Film Festival focuses on university students as not only filmmakers, but also as audiences and judges, voting on what major releases China’s young elites like best. The festival is screened on 150 college campuses nationwide and normally attracts over 200,000 viewers, with as many as a half million students voting for the winners of awards like the Student Short Film Award, which has traditionally served as a spotlight for discovering rising stars in Chinese film.

One excellent example of such a rising star is the two-time Berlin Film Festival winner Wang Quan’an. Wang first came to attention when he won Best Director in the 12th Beijing Student Film Festival. His film Tuya’s Marriage, which won the prestigious Golden Bear at Berlin in 2007, had previously been selected as the opening film at the 14th Beijing Student Film Festival.

This year, Wang Quan’an and his team, recognizing Youku’s effectiveness and influence as a video platform, acted as Youku paike (citizen videographers) on their trip to Berlin. Wang and his team provided Youku with exclusive video reports from Berlin, and as a surprise, he won a Silver Bear for his movie Apart Together (Tuan Yuan), which had been selected as an opening movie at Berlin.

“The Student Film Festival is the launch pad for all movie lovers, and Youku can provide an equal platform for everyone,” Wang said.

A spokesperson for the organizing committee for Beijing Student Film Festival described Youku as a new platform that brings the festival closer to students and audiences.

With monthly unique visitors at 200 million, and monthly time spent online exceeding 40 billion minutes, Youku offers these up-and-comers an unprecedented chance to reach very large audiences. Youku has launched a special area for Beijing Student Film Festival, where interested viewers can follow up, discuss and view previous and current festival reports, stories, and candidate movies. Applicants can, for the first time, also upload their self-produced short movies onto Youku site up until March 30, 2010, after which the organizing committee will verify the applicant’s student identity, and announce finalists for a short movie competition.

Five Internet-related awards, sponsored by Youku, have been established for this year: Best Film, Best Director, Best Online Actor and Actress, and “Netizen’s Choice.”

This year’s Beijing Student Film Festival will conclude on May 8. In past years, the televised closing ceremony has attracted as many as 35 million viewers. Winners of the Short Film competition will be presented on April 28.

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