First- the good. Its heartening to see ground-up momentum for a call to action. A few weeks back I got a FB update from one of my friends on the social networking site, Onir (a filmmaker, who’s made sensitive films like My Brother Nikhil in the past), about this film he was making on the story of a child abuse survivor inspired by a true story. What excited me was that Onir was using FB and other social media effectively to not just promote the film, Abhimanyu, but also raise funds for the making of the same. He has got several volunteers to support the initiative in direction, promotions (me included!) and other aspects of film making, purely by word-of-mouth. Couldnt be a better case study to demonstrate the power of social media, if it needed one anymore anyway!
I am totally in agreement that topics like child abuse must come out in the open. In India, one out of every five girls and one out of ten boys face some form of physical or psychological abuse. Sadly, most of these incidents are never reported and innocent victims are forced to suffer in silence. The brave few that do come forward are woefully underserved by a society that prefers to look away and a legal system that doesn’t care.
I am enthused by the fact that this initiative will also be a slap on the face to the power-hungry producer/multiplex coterie. Bravo new cinema!! Anyone who wishes to be a part of this initiative, either in the form of monetary donation (which will get the donor suitable credits in the film) may contact me on this blog. Incidentlly, the script of Abhimanyu has been nominated in the new category of Best Educational Movie, Triangle Media Group (UK)Global Award Nominations for 2009 for its script. www.bollywoodhungama.com/news/2009/05/18/12881/index.html
The Bad (not so bad really!!)
An interesting trend I notice when I scan Twitter and Friendfeed for news and trends. Unlike TV that thrived on “sensationalizing” bad news, it was heartening to see all news- bad and ugly included getting evened out on social media sites. So my fellow communicators while breaking their heads over “exciting” headlines need to rethink their new media strategy if they have to garner attention of bloggers and master tweeters, for its not a sensational headline, but a news that is new and provocative in its content that will garner attention. Now, if only broadcast and print take the cue…
I learnt through a recent post on Oliver Marks’ blog on ZD Net that hundreds of teens who coordinated through MySpace and Twitter got together in South Philadelphia, hijacked a taxi and created mayhem and rioting on the streets http://blogs.zdnet.com/collaboration.
The reasons were not very clear in the posts, but what’s interesting to note is that the powerful collaboration that’s possible today through social media can also turn ugly. Is it time for a new set of rules?