Taking the entertainment way out for public diplomacy seems to be on the agenda for the Indian government’s Ministry of External Affairs. The department has launched five short films on the web by Anurag Kashyap to showcase the various facets of the country.
The ministry’s Public Diplomacy Division had launched the “India Is” digital campaign two years ago to allow global audiences to understand India better. To celebrate the two-year landmark, the ministry has released these short films produced by Kashyap and his team.
India’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid lauded the team for its contribution to India’s communication growth story. "Every bit of Internet search gives you new impulse. And, with a platform like Google, it allows one to look into every nook and corner of India," he said.
A still from Chai by Gitanjali Rao
The five films, co-produced by Viacom 18, were released on YouTube this month. Kashyap explained that these short films are different from full length feature films and had to be precise and sharp to create a bigger impact. The films are anywhere between 3 to 21 minutes, keeping in mind the fact that they were for a global audience on the web. Praising the social media for its ability to contain a large archive, Kashyap spoke about how a film he’d made and lost back in 1991 had resurfaced on YouTube recently.
Khurshid too was all praises for the how the Internet was aiding the youth in the country to make themselves heard. “We have found a new voice. Not only we have found content, but we also found new voice and new method of communicating things that we want to say and indeed things that we would like to hear,” he said. “We now have two way communication network that allow us to do this without own people, with the rest of the world, with many of you who had traditional form of communication, but that certainly exploded into million different ways of reaching out. I think every little moment of surfing on the internet gives you a new communicating impulse and a new outreach.”
The “India Is” campaign was launched back in 2011 as an arm of the “Incredible India” initiative that aimed to put India on the tourism map. The short film campaign invited Indians and global audiences to share their India story with the government and revolved around the theme, “India Is a Visual Journey”.
Some of the winning films include The Epiphany by Neeraj Ghaywan, Geek Out by Vasan Bala, Moi Marjaani by Kashyap’s sister Anubhuti, Shlok Sharma’s Hidden Cricket and Geetanjali Rao’s Chai.
You can watch these India-centric stories told through a camera on the YouTube Channel by Viacom 18.
Viacom 18 is a part of the Network 18 family, which also owns tech2.