MTV International launches multi-platform film competition for Aids awareness

MUMBAI: As part of MTV International’s ongoing HIV and Aids prevention campaign - Staying Alive, the company announced its first film competition, 48fest.

It will be aired next month across all of MTV’s worldwide platforms – on air, online and on mobile phones.

Held at the XVI International Aids conference in Toronto from 14-16 August, the competition gave 48 youths 48-hours to write, shoot, edit and deliver a short film of three minutes on HIV and Aids grassroots efforts. The winner will be crowned at the 48fest Awards Ceremony held at the Masonic Temple in Toronto on 17 August.

MTV International VP, public affairs Georgia Arnold says, "48fest gives young filmmakers the unique opportunity of telling their own stories about HIV and Aids in their own voice. At MTV, we believe one of the strongest ways to deliver HIV and Aids prevention messages is to empower our viewers to talk about HIV and Aids, enable them to use their creativity, and give them a platform to share their voice with their peers. In this case, the platform includes our numerous TV channels, broadband services, websites and mobile TV channels located throughout the world.”

MTV in Canada senior VP, GM Brad Schwartz says, “MTV in Canada is dedicated to discussing issues that are important to all Canadians. HIV and Aids prevention is one of those issues. We are extremely proud to be hosting this event. It is an exciting first step in our quest to create innovative and new ways to discuss and promote awareness and prevention of HIV and Aids in Canada.”

The 48fest competition will be comprised of eight teams of six filmmakers from all over the world, who are also youth delegates to Aids 2006. Each team will be assigned to create a film that focuses on one of eight HIV and Aids-themed subjects, including condom use, delaying or abstaining from sex, machismo, testing, violence against women, discrimination, stigma, and vulnerable populations.

The teams will each be accompanied by a professional Canadian filmmaker, who will serve as a mentor and will help the contestants to sharpen their skills across all areas of filmmaking.

All of the shorts will be screened by the contestants, their mentors and Aids 2006 delegates before the awards ceremony to be held at Toronto. The films will be critiqued by a panel of judges including MTV US president Christina Norman, Canadian-born rock artist Fefe Dobson and CTV president of programming Susanne Boyce.

The 48fest films will be made available for broadcast across MTV’s worldwide network of 50 TV channels, 14 mobile TV channels, 18 broadband services and 44 websites. In addition, the shorts will be compiled into a 30-minute documentary, Staying Alive – 48fest (working title), that will showcase the films as well as behind-the-scenes footage as the young filmmakers progress through their many stages of film production.

The documentary will also air across MTV International’s TV and broadband channels. Offered rights-free and cost-free to third party broadcasters, the shorts and documentary will be available for worldwide broadcast in September.

In addition, during the Awards Ceremony on 17 August, US based MTV News and Docs – in partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation – will premiere Think HIV. This is a documentary in which young people from across the US tell their story of how HIV and Aids has affected their generation. Part memorial, part testimony, these short video vignettes –filmed entirely by infected and/or affected young people – paints a portrait of the epidemic’s impact on their lives. The half-hour show will make its television debut on MTV in the US and Canada the following day.

It is the first such documentary created by MTV and Kaiser that features 100 per cent user-generated content produced by young people on digital video recorders. Think HIV is part of think MTV, a community where young people get informed, connect to each other, express themselves and take action on the issues important to them, their community and their world.

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