It was an opportunity Chennai's film enthusiasts had been waiting for. For the first time, The Hindu, and the Chennai International Film Festival (CIFF) conducted a documentary contest, themed "Slice of Chennai," to wide appreciation.
Hosted on The Hindu's in-house app - www.thehindushutterbug.com/video, participants could register and embed links of their videos, which were then showcased. Participants could also comment on and share their videos via a range of social networking sites, all through the app.
Entrepreneur and actor Aravind Swami, renowned actor Khushbu and Chennai historian V. Sriram were the judges. The top three entries will be screened on the closing day of CIFF. That's not all.
Sponsored by Casa Grande, there's a first prize of Rs, 30,000, second prize worth Rs. 20,000 and third prize of Rs. 10,000 to be won. That's not all.
Apart from the opportunity to compete and to have their work showcased on such a prestigious platform, the three winners will receive their prizes from the biggest star of Indian cinema - Amitabh Bachchan.
The contest itself was based on a simple concept - Chennai is based on multiple viewpoints, myriad layers, a plethora of personalities. The challenge was to serve to the viewer one 'Slice of Chennai' in just two minutes, excluding titling and end credits.
We had a set of crackling promos, like this priceless clip from Suhasini Maniratnam or this Mohanraman - Abhishek double team and this aesthetic explainer by Shylaja Chetlur. Here's a clip of a launch event of CIFF
This edition of the contest received over 120 entries in a fortnight. From a longlist of 25, a shortlist of 12 was made, from which the first, second and third prize winners were picked. We've had over 30,000 views for the CIFF promos online and this interest translated into a high level of participation.
CIFF is all about bringing global cinema to Chennai, about shrinking the vast distances between various styles of filmmaking. With this contest, Chennai gave back to world cinema, in style.