Nottingham signs China partnership

The University of Nottingham has become the first British University to sign a partnership with China’s online video giant, Youku Tudou

Under the agreement, the University of Nottingham will deliver ‘The 2014 Tudou Nottingham Creative Challenge’ in Shanghai on August 16that the Tudou Video Festival. An audience of over 200 young creative talents will gather at The Aviator’s Park (China’s first national themed park on aviation culture communication) at the Shanghai World Expo site, to take part in this unique collaborative event. 

The Creative Challenge is an interactive session which is designed to help young people develop the skills they need to enable them to capture the essence of their creative ideas, improve teamwork and learn how to build an audience for their work. The main objective of the University at the Tudou Video Festival is to help young, creative talent to manage the transition from amateur projects to larger, more demanding projects in an increasingly global new media landscape.

Now in its seventhyear, and hailed as China’s equivalent of the Sundance Festival, the Festival will feature China’s largest live exhibition of video projects and youth culture from over 100 contributors, including talented amateur and professional filmmakers. It is estimated that 15,000 people will visit the Festival over the two days and it will also be broadcast online to an audience expected to reach 400,000 viewers.

The link-up with Youku Tudou is the latest in a number of partnerships that have been formed by the University’s Institute for Screen Industries Research (ISIR). Previous collaborations have included world-leading studios such as Fox Studios in Hollywood and local, smaller creative businesses in Nottingham. 

Based within The University of Nottingham’s Department of Culture, Film and Media, ISIR is the first ideas incubator and innovation generator for the film and TV industry to be based at a UK university and offers an unmatched resource for talent development, bespoke industry research and audience testing.

ISIR is now expanding its network of collaborations, particularly in China. The Chinese screen industries have grown significantly in the past few years and look set to make China one of the key powers for the foreseeable future, while Hollywood remains the global reference point for filmmakers and studios alike. 

Gianluca Sergi, Director of the Institute for Screen Industries Research at The University of Nottingham, said: “With partnerships in Hollywood and a well-established campus in Ningbo China, we are ideally positioned to engage with leading players in the screen industries on a global scale. 

“Youku Tudou represents an ideal partner for The University of Nottingham in China because of its leading market position, innovative and dynamic talent and capacity to reach a vast audience. 

“This is an industry that needs to think smarter than ever before if it is to prosper and continue to play its role as one of the primary sources for creativity, jobs and entertainment. I firmly believe that partnerships such as this, which bring together different kinds of expertise and cultural sensibilities are invaluable.”

Cyrus Luan, Youth Programme Director of Tudou, added: “This year it is our great honour to have The University of Nottingham at the Tudou Video Festival. There is a strong resonance between the University and Tudou around video creativity. The University’s in-depth expertise and research on the creation of new media will help the Festival’s transformation process by producing very innovative creative solutions. 

“We look forward to the University’s interactive presentation in the ‘Tudou Talk’ section of the Festival. I believe that channel owners and new media video enthusiasts will gain much from this event.”

The partnership with Youku Tudou was secured as a result of The University of Nottingham’s commitment to engage with China’s leading creative industry companies. In addition, the University has formed teaching, exchange and research partnerships with Chinese universities such as Shanghai Jiaotong University, East China Normal University and Nanjing University’s Jinling College. 

Last year, Nottingham also organised an international conference in Shanghai to discuss collaborations between China and the UK in the film sector, which was entitled ‘Creativity Across Borders: Global Screen Industries International Competitiveness Forum.’ 

The ‘Tudou Nottingham Creative Challenge’ is being delivered in Shanghai by the University’s Julian Stringer, Associate Professor in Film and Television Studies, and Min Rose, Senior Executive at the Asia Business Centre. The University project team in Nottingham has also been supported by the video production company founded by three Nottingham graduates, Skeleton Productions, which produced the short videos which form the creative challenge.