Nottingham becomes first western university to partner with China's largest internet video company

14 Aug 2014 16:22:46.930

The University of Nottingham has become the first western University to sign a partnership with China’s online video giant, Youku Tudou, to support China’s young filmmakers.

Under the agreement, the University will deliver ‘The 2014 Tudou Nottingham Creative Challenge’ in Shanghai on August 16th at the Tudou Video Festival. An audience of over 200 young creative talents will gather at The Aviator’s Park at the Shanghai World Expo site, to take part in a unique collaborative event.

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Developing creative skills
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 7th year, 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 also estimated that 15,000 people will visit the Festival over the two days and it will be broadcast online to an audience expected to reach up to 400,000 viewers.

First university based ideas incubator for the film industry 
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, right through to local small 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.

Partnerships in Hollywood
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 new media video enthusiasts will gain much from this event.”

Engaging with China's leading creative companies
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, Skeleton Productions, founded by three Nottingham graduates, which produced the short videos which form the creative challenge.

Anyone who is interested in attending the ‘Tudou Nottingham Creative Challenge’ in Shanghai, should visit the website and email Min Rose on

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More information is available from Nick King, Marketing Projects Manager, Business Engagement and Innovation Services at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 823 2184, or on

Notes to editors: Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university in the UK among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World’s Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

About Youku Tudou
Youku Tudou Inc. (YOKU) is China's leading Internet television company with 400m viewers. Its Youku and Tudou Internet television platforms enable users to search, view and share high-quality video content quickly and easily across multiple devices. Its Youku brand and Tudou brand are among the most recognised online video brands in China. Youku Tudou’s American depositary shares, each representing 18 of Youku Tudou’s Class A ordinary shares, are traded on the NYSE under the symbol “YOKU.” 

Youku Tudou is the result of the 2012 merger of Chinese internet sites Youku and Tudou creating China’s biggest video site. Prior to the announcement of the merger, Youku was the #11 website in China, and Tudou was #14. The chairman of the board is Victor Koo, the founder of Youku

Story credits

For more details about this story, email Min Rose, Senior Executive at the Asia Business Centre, The University of Nottingham, or tel +44(0)115 748 4137.
Nick King  

Nick King - Marketing and Communications Manager, Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 74 86727 Location: Coates Building, Faculty of Engineering, University Park Nottingham

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