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Ministry of External Affairs and YouTube join hands to promote India abroad

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | November 12, 2012
Anurag Kashyap Films will produce five films on three different concepts: 'India is incredible,' 'India is unforgettable,' and 'India is wherever you are.'

The Public Diplomacy Division of Ministry of External Affairs has tied knots with YouTube to launch a short film contest, 'India is...a visual journey' to promote the country's diversity on the multimedia platform. The contest aims to facilitate a better understanding of India's culture and influence foreigners' perception about the country.

The second edition of the short film contest will be open for entries to users all across the globe for a period of three months, with the last day of submission for the entries being February 9, 2013. All the films will be featured at www.youtube.com/indiais.

Riva Ganguly Das

Nikesh Arora

Anurag Kashyap

Riva Ganguly Das, joint secretary and head of Public Diplomacy Division of Ministry of External Affairs, says, "'India is' is the first web-based campaign initiated by the Public Diplomacy Division of the MEA 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 and through this initiative, we aim to create a visual roadmap of India for Indians and foreigners alike, with global players like Google, Taj, Condé Nast Traveller and Incredible India as partners. We look forward to growing this initiative and connecting with a larger audience all over the world."

"We're really happy to partner with India's Ministry of External Affairs to launch this exciting initiative to showcase and celebrate India's diversity on a global stage. YouTube is a powerful tool to express and share different opinions that can bring about a positive change in the society and as an organisation, we're committed to supporting all such initiatives," says Nikesh Arora, senior vice-president and chief business officer, Google.

Taking this partnership to a higher level, YouTube has partnered with renowned film director and script writer Anurag Kashyap and his directors to produce five short films to showcase three themes of the contest - 'India is incredible,' 'India is unforgettable,' and 'India is wherever you are.'

The films will be produced in association with Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Anurag Kashyap Films and will be used to inspire filmmakers, students and video enthusiasts to create their own five-minute films on any of the three themes.

Kashyap says, "Short films is a challenging format and it will be very interesting to see the creativity and talent of filmmakers working on these themes. I and my team have already thought of some ideas and I look forward to the users' response to the content we produce."

All the entries will be thoroughly scrutinised by judges from the film industry on different parameters like storytelling, creativity, originality, screenplay, performances and technical execution.

The jury will shortlist 10 entries, three in each category. The first place winners will get EOS Canon Mark II Camera and lens, along with weekend getaways across exotic locations in India organised by Taj Holidays.

There will also be a special prize for the most voted and watched film and the winners will be announced in an event jointly organised by Ministry of External Affairs and YouTube.

A brainchild of the Ministry of External Affairs, 'India is' kick-started in 2011 and received 245 entries from 40 countries in its first year. The winners hailed from India, Italy, Slovakia and the United Kingdom.

YouTube is the world's most popular online video community that allows millions of people to discover, watch and share original videos. It provides a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers, large and small.

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