BEIJING, Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The second annual Youku Original Masters' Short Film Project is once again an online smash, with its 25-minute long micro-films racking up 10 million views within first month, and so far more than 15,000 comments. Meanwhile, a breakout hit from last year's Project, the Tsai Ming-Liang-directed "Walker," recently snagged the Best Narrative Short Film Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival and qualified for Oscar competition.
With the masters' project, Youku opens its powerful platform to established voices in the world of film, who transform online microfilm into a true art. Building on the success of last year's project, Youku this year invited directors Lu Yue, Mabel Cheung and Alex Law, Wu Nien-chen, and Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who expertly bring to life different eras, regions, and cultural backgrounds to capture not only life as it is now, but as it exists in people's hopes for tomorrow. The Masters' Project is unique in its innovative content planning, high production standards, and its professional, creative team.
The Youku Masters' Project began in 2012, when Youku Original and the Hong Kong International Film Festival invited leading Asian directors Gu Changwei, Tsai Ming-liang, Ann Hui, and Kim Tae-yong to direct "micro movies" ("wei dianying" in Mandarin) for a year-long Youku Original campaign. The internationally recognized, award-winning directors' creations premiered at the HKIFF before being released exclusively on Youku's online platform over the course of the year. Audiences responded in a big way, so far watching the four films nearly 20 million times, leaving more than 63,000 comments, and forwarding them more than 520,000 times.
"Walker," which examines the past, present, and future of Hong Kong through an elderly monk's silent, slow walk through the city's bustling streets, rose to the top last year, drawing national attention to the Project. It and other Masters' Project micro-films have since been selected by more than 40 prestigious international film festivals, including the Cannes International Film Festival, the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Shanghai Film Festival, and Pusan International Film Festival. Confirmed directors for next year's Masters' Short Films Project include Shunji Iwai of Japan and Mainland Chinese director Zhang Yuan.
"Youku Original's strategic vision has helped micro-film grow beyond its image as a grassroots, amateur outlet and become known as a true art form. The success of last year's Masters' Project proved that audiences turn to our powerful platform for this type of high-quality, highbrow content, and we make it a strategic priority to continue delivering this type of cutting edge content," said Frank Ming Wei, President of Youku.com. "In short, Youku knows what viewers want, and our ability to deliver it is our unparalleled competitive edge."
Youku Original is a key part of Youku's hybrid content strategy, which features licensed professional content, in-house production, and user-generated content. In addition to their excellent reputation among audiences and established film and television talents, Youku Original movies and television serial dramas have attracted sponsorship from major brands, including General Motors, Philips, Hyundai, and Sony.
About Youku Tudou Inc.
Youku Tudou Inc. (YOKU) is China's leading Internet television company. Its Youku and Tudou Internet television platforms enable users to search, view, and share high-quality video content quickly and easily across multiple devices. Its Youku brand and Tudou brand are among the most recognized online video brands in China. Youku Tudou's American depositary shares, each representing 18 of Youku Tudou's Class A ordinary shares, are traded on the NYSE under the symbol "YOKU."
Jean Shao, Director of International Communications
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