Discovery, Nokia team for second edition of Mobile FilmMakers Awards

MUMBAI: Discovery Asia has announced its second collaboration with Nokia. The two parties have launched the second edition of the Mobile Filmmakers Awards.

With the first initiative completed in December 2005, the second contest gives consumers the opportunity to try their hand at mobile filmmaking. It will give them the chance to walk away with a $10,000 and a three-month stint with Discovery Asia based at the channel’s Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore, during which he or she will be involved in the process of documentary filmmaking.

The Mobile Filmmakers Awards initiative was launched last year. The aim was to empower mobile phone users with the knowledge and technology of mobile filmmaking at their fingertips and the opportunity to showcase their talent. Reflecting the widespread mobile penetration and usage in India, maximum entries of 609, were received from India last year with two Indians making it to the semi-finals.

The second edition of the contest is open to the residents of India, Australia, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The closing date for submissions for the contest is 30 June 2006.

In the first round of the competition, 60 semi-finalists will be selected from all the entries received. These 60 semifinalists will need to attend a workshop in July, organised by Discovery Networks Asia. Each semi-finalist will receive a Nokia N90 mobile phone. In the second round of the competition, the 60 semifinalists will be narrowed down to the best 12 contestants from the region.

The finalists will be flown to Singapore to attend an intensive workshop in September. Here they will have the opportunity to learn more about mobile filmmaking techniques from experts in the industry and to familiarise themselves with the wide range of mobile film functions of the Nokia N93, which they will be using to shoot and submit their final entries. Each finalist will receive a Nokia N93 mobile phone.

The initiative reinvents the way people view filmmaking and adds a new dimension to the film industry, contributing to the evolution and growth of filmmaking. Using multimedia devices such as the Nokia N93 that comes with optics from Carl Zeiss, a leading optics company, talent in the region are now able to create their own personal high-quality mobile films. The genre of mobile filmmaking also provides those who are interested in filmmaking with a new medium through which they can bring to life their unique visions and perspectives, and showcase their films on a different platform.

The two parties state that even seasoned professional filmmakers are experimenting with this new genre. The Mobile Filmmakers 2006 Awards site - - will showcase clips produced by celebrity filmmakers from Asia, as part of the mobile filmmakers gallery. Among the filmmakers featured are Kaizad Gustad from India who had made Hyderabad Blues, Ekachai from Thailand (Beautiful Boxer), Kelvin Tong from Singapore (The Maid) and Yasmin Ahmad from Malaysia (Sepet).

Discovery Asia senior VP programming and creative services James Gibbons said, “The response to the First Time Mobile Filmmakers 2005 Awards and the quality of the entries received shows that anyone with basic knowledge of how a mobile phone works is able to shoot their own mobile film and capture the world around them. With Discovery’s expertise in documentary filmmaking coupled with Nokia’s technology leadership in imaging, we have launched a new genre in Asia – mobile filmmaking – which is revolutionising the way content is utilised by mobile phone users. Together with Nokia, we are committed to growing and developing the genre of mobile filmmaking. As such, we will be organizing this contest annually, to continue to uncover new talent and take mobile filmmaking to greater heights.”

Nokia senior vice president, customer and market operations, Asia Pacific Urpo Karjalainen said, “Multimedia computers like the Nokia N93 give consumers an unparalleled experience in mobile photography and filmmaking. Regional initiatives like the Mobile Filmmakers Awards – coupled with the supporting workshops and information that participants and consumers get – prove that with the software and hardware that’s built into today’s camera phones, you can get an imaging and filmmaking experience that’s equal to, or better, than that from a dedicated digital camera or camcorder. As technology keeps developing, we will continue to push the envelope in bringing consumers the best experiences they can expect from their converged devices, whether it’s in filmmaking, email, imaging or other areas.”

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