Discovery Asia teams up with Nokia for filmmakers contest

MUMBAI: Discovery Asia and mobile communications provider Nokia are looking to reinvent the concept of filmmaking by providing mobile phone users everywhere with access to knowledge and technology of a new genre – mobile filmmaking.

The companies have partnered to launch the Mobile First Time Filmmakers Contest 2005, which will give consumers the opportunity to try their hand at mobile filmmaking and qualify to win a prize of $10,000.

Using the Nokia N90 multimedia device that comes with optics from optics firm Carl Zeiss consumers will now have the ability to create their own personal high-quality mobile films with their Nokia camera phones. This advancement in mobile technology will contribute to the evolution and growth of documentary filmmaking and the way content is utilised by mobile phone users.

To participate in the contest, interested parties can send in a photo or a video that’s no longer than nine seconds and a brief description of a favourite icon that best defines the values and hopes of their community, and how this will be presented in a short mobile film. The icon can be anything that conveys the importance and significance of a particular community, such as an old shophouse in an alley that holds many memories, a vintage car, or even a childhood game – but most importantly, something that conveys the importance and significance of a particular community.

Contestants may also send in storyboards to support their entries. The contest, which started yesterday 1 August 2005 is open to individuals aged 18 and above who are residing in India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand.

The closing date for submissions is 4 September, 2005. 15 applicants will be short-listed and flown to Singapore in September to attend a special workshop organised by Discovery Asia. They will have the opportunity to learn more about mobile filmmaking techniques. In addition, the fifteen selected filmmakers will each receive a Nokia N90, which they will use to shoot and submit their final entries towards their bid to win the grand prize of $10,000.

Prior to attending the workshop, contestants will also be able to obtain helpful tips and hints on mobile filmmaking via the Mobile Filmmaker gallery. Commenting on the initiative Discovery Asia senior VP of programming and creative services James Gibbons said, “By tapping Discovery’s expertise in finding great stories and bringing them to a world stage, and giving people everywhere the tools they need to become first time filmmakers through Nokia’s technology leadership, we are creating a new genre that will empower aspiring documentarians to bring their real-world stories to light. With this initiative, we hope to inspire a new generation of talent by changing the way documentary filmmaking is perceived and taking this new genre to greater heights.

Nokia Asia Pacific director of mobile phones marketing Pasi Jarvenpaa says, “Mobile First Time Filmmakers is probably the first such contest in the world to use the Nokia N90 to film documentaries. It is testimony to the Nokia camera phone’s entry into the digital imaging industry. Where only camcorders allowed consumers to take high-quality videos in the past, it is now possible to do so with Nokia camera phones, namely the Nokia N90. By collaborating with Discovery, Nokia hopes to bring mobile photography and filmmaking in the Asia-Pacific region to a whole new level by making them easy and accessible to all consumers. Not only will the initiative help develop the amateur filmmaking industry in the region, it will also revolutionise filmmaking by giving consumers the ability to create their own personal documentaries with their Nokia phones”.

The Mobile First Time Filmmakers Contest initiative is part of a regional advertising sales partnership between Discovery Networks Asia and Nokia, which was announced in April this year. As part of this partnership, Nokia will be advertising across Discovery’s Southeast Asia, Australia/New Zealand and India feeds. In June, Nokia kicked off the collaboration by sponsoring the premiere of Discovery Channel’s First Time Filmmakers: China 21 series, which showcased five documentaries directed by young and up-and-coming filmmakers from China.

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