BEIJING, May 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Youku Inc. (NYSE: YOKU), China's leading Internet television company ("Youku"), announced today that the micro-movie "Walker," produced by Youku for its "Beautiful 2012" campaign, has been selected to screen on the closing night of Critics Week at this month's Cannes Film Festival. The 25-minute "Walker", directed by Tsai Ming-liang, has been one of the most hotly debated movies on Youku since it debuted in late April, receiving nearly 20,000 comments so far.
As an incubator, Youku invited Tsai Ming-liang and three other major Asian auteurs to contribute web-native "micro-movies" for the launch of its year-long "Beautiful 2012" campaign, which will offer a wide range of compelling original content from leading creative talents. The films were first screened at the Hong Kong International Film Festival in late March, and became available for viewing on Youku's platform in late April. These movies have been viewed a total of more than 10 million times thus far. "Walker," which examines the past, present, and future of Hong Kong through an elderly monk's silent, slow walk through the city's bustling streets, struck a chord with viewers, receiving more than 10,000 comments within two days.
"The Cannes Film Festival's recognition of 'Walker' is also a recognition of online video's potential as an artistic medium for world-class filmmakers," said Frank Ming Wei, Youku's senior vice-president of operations. "Since 2008, Youku has worked with filmmakers and creative talents to build a platform allowing them to reach new audiences and explore new creative possibilities."
In addition to Cannes, "Walker" and some other micro-movies in the "Beautiful 2012" series have also been selected for screening at international film festivals including the Shanghai International Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Pusan International Film Festival. The series also includes " My Way" from Ann Hui, which tells the story of a conventionally successful businessman who knows, deep inside, that he is in fact a woman; "Long Tau," an experimental film from Gu Changwei telling the intertwined stories of a writer, an artist, a young girl, and a trash-picker; and "You Are More Than Beautiful" by director Kim Tae-Yong, telling the story of a man who hires a woman to pretend to be his partner while he visits his ailing father.Youku pursues a hybrid content strategy, which focuses on offering a combination of licensed professional content, in-house production from Youku Original, and user-generated content.