NEW YORK - Aspiring Bollywood dancers looking for their big break have an additional month to enter Bollypop, an online dance competition sponsored by Verizon to help showcase the growing number of Bollywood movies and music videos the company offers its FiOS TV and V CAST customers.
Due to popular demand, Verizon has extended the deadline of the contest (www.verizon.com/bollypop) to Nov. 7. The original deadline was Oct. 7. The extended deadline also accommodates Diwali, the Festival of Lights, which is a very festive time of year for many South Asians.
"Many dance performances will take place to celebrate the holiday," said Shruti Joshi, director of marketing for Verizon. "And with the extension of Bollypop, more people can videotape their performance and enter the dance contest."
Bollywood is the name of India's film industry, which produces more than 1,000 movies annually. Bollywood movies are typically musicals that feature six to eight songs and major dance sequences. Reflective of the popularity of Bollywood movies, the category has become the highest-grossing foreign film sector in the U.S.
The winner or winners of the dance contest's grand prize will receive an all-expenses-paid trip Mumbai, India, in December and will appear in one of the dance sequences in a movie soon to be in production at the preeminent Indian film studio, UTV Motion Pictures, and directed by Ken Ghosh, director of hits such as "Fida" and "Ishq Vishk." UTV will distribute the film worldwide.
The movie is the story about a middle-class youngster who is passionate about music, and about his journey to become a music icon. Shahid Kapoor, a Bollywood star, will play the lead. Marty Kudelka, who has worked with Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, will choreograph the dance sequences.
The Bollypop dance contest is open to all U.S. residents and is maintained by Saavn.com, the largest digital distributor of South Asian movies, music videos, audio tracks and ringtones. Contestants - individuals or dance troupes* - need to upload a video of themselves dancing to a Bollywood song, which can be downloaded for free at www.verizon.com/bollypop.
Every week, people can watch featured Bollypop videos, which have been submitted by contestants, on the Asian Variety Show (AVS), the most widely watched and longest-running Bollywood TV news show in the U.S.
Director Ghosh and choreographer Kudelka will select the winning video from the 10 most popular as voted by visitors to www.verizon.com/bollypop. In addition to the trip to India and movie appearance, the grand-prize winner or winners will get a three-day trip to New York City to attend a celebration in their honor.
Dance video files for the online contest must be submitted in one of these formats: QuickTime (.mov), MPEG (.mpg), MPEG-4 (.mp4), Windows Media (.wmv), or AVI (.avi).
One video entry is allowed per person, and entries must be original works that have neither been previously published nor infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks or other intellectual property, or other rights, of any person or entity. For complete rules of the Bollypop dance contest, visit www.verizon.com/bollypop.
Verizon FiOS TV customers can access several Bollywood movies and music videos through the video-on-demand (VOD) library. Additionally, through V CAST Music from Verizon Wireless, customers can also access more than 100 of the latest Bollywood music videos on their handsets for $4.99 per month. Interested customers can select "Bollywood Music by Saavn" from the music category on the V CAST videos menu.
* NOTE: With dance troupes, only up to four performers can win the grand prize.
About UTV Motion Pictures (UMP PLC)
Established in 1995, as a division within UTV Software Communications, UTV Motion Pictures has arrangements with a number of major Hollywood studios including Walt Disney, Fox Searchlight and, Will Smith's company Overbrook Entertainment. Listed on at the London AIM market, UTV Motion Pictures has played an active role in bringing the studio model to the Indian film industry, where it is able to leverage script development, budget and time management and international distribution. Having become a strong player in Indian and international cinema with the success of movies like 'Rang De Basanti', 'Khosla Ka Ghosla', 'Life in a... Metro', 'The Namesake' and 'I Think I Love My Wife'. UTV Motion Pictures has also distributed movies like Aamir Khan's directorial debut 'Taare Zameen Par', Anees Bazmee's 'Welcome' in the international markets and co-produced movies like Ashutosh Gowariker's 'Jodhaa-Akbar', which is the biggest blockbuster of 2008 and distributed Abbas Mustan's 'Race' M. Night Shyamalan's 'The Happening'. Its list of forthcoming slate includes Madhur Bhandarkar's 'Fashion', Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's 'Delhi 6'. UTV Motion Pictures is also working with a talent pool of directors that include Vishal Bhardwaj, David Dhawan, Shyam Benegal and Iranian director Majid Majidi amongst others. For more info log onto www.utvmotionpictures.com.
Saavn brings the best of Bollywood to the world. As the largest digital distributor of Bollywood entertainment, Saavn owns rights to hundreds of movies and over 250,000 music tracks, 20,000 music videos and 10,000 ringtones, including titles such as Jodhaa Akbar, Race and Taare Zameen Par. Saavn distributes its exclusive catalog and new Bollywood releases to over 75 global media companies including Time Warner, Verizon and iTunes. Its flagship Saavn.com is an online community that connects 4 billion global Bollywood fans around a shared interest in Bollywood, bringing them a rich Bollywood experience with free streaming audio and video, and robust playlist and profile pages. Saavn is a joint venture of MEDIA and Hungama Mobile and has offices in Mumbai, London, New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto. To find out more, visit: http://www.saavn.com.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 67 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employed a diverse workforce of approximately 232,000 as of the end of the first quarter 2008 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.