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April 17: Tudou Video Festival 2010

In less than 2 weeks the Tudou Video Festival will takeplace once again and it will be bigger than ever. This year’s edition will be held on April 17 in Beijing with an audience of 1000 invited guests. Amazing how the festival has grown over the past years. I still remember when we first discussed about this idea in late 2005, at that time the plan was to find a space somewhere around Yangshuo to hold an open air kind of Woodstock or Burning Man event.

That never materialized, but 2 years later the first video festival took place on the top of Moganshan in Zheijiang province. Because of the remote location it still had a bit of the Burning Man feel: on top of a mountain, in old church surrounded by bamboo forests. Last year the festival had grown so much that we had to look for a more professional location, and we found one in Shanghai. The event was a big success and I was especially surprised to see the high quality of the submissions, that were as least as good as professionally produce content (see also my blog post from last year).

This year the event will be even bigger: a total of 5585 films were nominated for the Golden Tudou awards, almost triple last year’s number. Millions of people voted online on to determine the top 200 films, and now a professional jury consisting of among others famous directors, script writers and actors has the difficult task to come up with the winners for each category. According to the Shanghai Daily some people already call it China’s Sundance Festival!

The aim of the event is to discover and promote talented Internet film makers,. The winners can among others win a scholarship to the French Film Institute and funding for new projects, and have a good chance to quickly rise to prominence. For example, one of last year’s winners, Deng Ke, was funded by Tudou to produce an interactive comedy series and is now a contract director for the China Film Group.

I look forward to seeing the winning videos of this year’s edition. If you want to see the shortlisted videos you can watch them at these three links:

For more information on the Video Festival also follow Tudou’s microblog on sina:

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