HKIFF to Premiere Youku Original "Micro Movie" Titles from Major Directors
HONG KONG, March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Youku Inc. (NYSE: YOKU), China's leading Internet television company ("Youku"), today launched the Youku Original "Beautiful 2012" campaign with the debut of four "micro movies" from award-winning Asian directors at the Hong Kong International Film Festival (the "HKIFF").
Youku Original and the HKIFF invited leading Asian directors Gu Changwei, Tsai Ming-liang, Ann Hui, and Kim Tae-yong to direct "micro movies" ("wei dianying" in Mandarin) for "Beautiful 2012," a year-long Youku Original campaign highlighting selected original content. The internationally recognized, award-winning directors represent Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea, respectively. The micro movies will premiere at the HKIFF before being released exclusively on Youku's online platform over the course of the year.
This is one of the HKIFF's first times to showcase micro movies, a new, web-native storytelling format that has emerged alongside the rise of online new media platforms like Youku's. The size and scope of Youku's platform, its 300 million monthly viewers, and the overnight success of online-only movies like "Old Boys" Youku promoted in 2010 have drawn interest from many established directors who used to produce traditional movies.
The press conference for the four micro movies also featured a trailer for "Spring Flowers," another film in Youku's Beautiful 2012 series. "Spring Flowers" was directed by Lv Huizhou, who also directed the short film "Love at the Crossroads" in the 2011 Youku series "One Step Away." To date, "Love at the Crossroads" has been viewed 17 million times.
"Online platforms offer filmmakers a range of flexibility in terms of accessibility, story length and format that traditional media have difficulty providing," said Roger Garcia, Executive Director of Hong Kong International Film Festival Society. "The 'micro movie' is an exciting new option for writers and directors, and we share Youku's vision of developing it into a new format for our millennia."
"With these new 'micro movies,' Youku continues to explore creative options to match content with formats native to the web," said Frank Ming Wei, Youku's Senior Vice President. "We see our cooperation with HKIFF as an affirmation of the importance of online video to the Internet generation, and of the growing influence of online video platforms for traditional media, viewer expectations, and brand advertising."
In addition to drawing the attention from an increasing number of established film and television talents, Youku Original movies and television serial dramas have also attracted sponsorship from major brands, including General Motors ("11 Degrees New Media Film Project," 2010), Philips ("One Step Away," 2011), Hyundai ("Hip Hop Office Quartet," 2008-present), and Sony ("Miss Puff," 2011-present). The film "Spring Flowers" is sponsored by Canon.
"Long Tau," from Gu Changwei, depicts the intertwined stories of a writer, an artist, a young girl, and a trash-picker. "The Walker," by Tsai Ming-liang, considers the history, present, and future of Hong Kong through a walk down the city's streets. Ann Hui's "My Way" tells the story of a middle-aged, conventionally successful businessman who knows, deep inside, that he is in fact a woman. "You Are More Than Beautiful," from Kim Tae-Yong, follows a man who hires a woman to pretend to be his partner while he visits his ailing father.
Youku Original is a key part of Youku's content strategy, which features the promotion of a combination of licensed professional content, in-house production from Youku Original, and user-generated content.
Youku Inc. is China's leading Internet television company. Our Internet television platform enables users to search, view and share high-quality video content quickly and easily across multiple devices. Youku, which stands for "what's best and what's cool" in Chinese, is the most recognized online video brand in China. Youku's American depositary shares, each representing 18 of our Class A ordinary shares, are traded on NYSE under the symbol "YOKU."
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