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Exclusive | Creativity in film making: LA India Film Council's Uday Singh

The forthcoming LA - India Connect intends to provide an opportunity to students to showcase their imagination, vision and story-telling ability by making a short film based on the ‘Hollywood – Bollywood’ theme. Participants will be judged on their ability to create a film that bypasses geographical boundaries and appeals to audiences everywhere.  This year’s competition will be judged by a jury of high-profile film industry representatives from Los Angeles and India, including Shekhar Kapur, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Mahesh Bhatt, Nagesh Kukunoor, Dean Teri Schwartz - UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and Steve Weinstein -President & CEO, MovieLabs.
The winners of the competition, from India and Los Angeles, will each receive a cash prize of USD$1,000 and an opportunity to gain experience with a leading production company. The short film entries will be made available to view via the website: Viewers will be able to vote for their favourite film, and the winning film will receive the “Most Popular Film Award”. Additionally, every participant will get an opportunity to generate revenue from their film through Pocket Films, a short film division of, India’s leading aggregator and distributor of alternate content.
To know more about the contest, Adgully spoke to Uday Singh, Chairman, LA India Film Council. The following is the tete-a-tete of the interaction. 
Adgully (AG): Can you briefly tell us about the background of LA-India Connect, when and how did it all begin?
Uday Singh: (US): LA – India Connect is an initiative by LA India Film Council, established in November of 2010 by a Joint Declaration between the City of Los Angeles and the Indian Film Industry. 'LA - India Connect', online short film contest is an attempt to promote creativity between aspiring students in Los Angeles and India. This initiative takes forward the goals of the Los Angeles India Film Council, which is to assist cross- industry talent acquisition and encourage creative collaborations between LA and India. The contest has already begun on 2nd July 2012 and the winners would be declared by end of September 2012
AG: How has this initiative gathered momentum and what is the difference this year from past year’s competition?
US: The contest has just started and we have received a lot of enquires from students across India. This is the first year of the competition and we are hoping that this contest will be well received by student communities and are expecting to get a lot of entries. We are hopeful of continuing this in the future if this year generates a good response.
AG: How does participating in the competition help students? Any past example you can mention?
US: It is a great opportunity for students to showcase their films and get discovered by the stalwarts of the Film and Entertainment business and get international recognition. LA – India Connect will serve as a platform for the students who want to begin their career in the industry. 
AG: Which are the film companies / production houses that are part of this effort and have agreed to provide experience to the winner of the competition?
US: We are in discussion with several production houses and will keep you posted on it in due course.
AG: Winners will be judged in how many and which categories?
US: The judging criteria will be based on entries which best justify the contest theme 'Hollywood: Bollywood' , i.e. a story which they believe can cross over geographical boundaries and appeal to universal audiences and at the same time showcase their story telling abilities, creativity and talent.

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