Sundance, GSMA dial up mobile content

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BARCELONA -- The Sundance Institute and the GSM Assn. unveiled on Monday five original made-for-mobile short films commissioned as part of the Sundance Film Festival Global Short Film Project at the 3GSM World Congress.

"We didn't want to repurpose content for cell phones," said John Cooper, director of programming for the Sundance Film Festival and creative director for Sundance Institute. "We wanted something specifically designed for a 2-inch-by-2-inch screen that included the artists in the work."

The five films are being shown exclusively at the GSMA's congress this week. The Sundance Institute reported more than 750 downloads Monday using the fast Sandisk Media Kiosk, which allowed downloads of the five films in a mere 30 seconds. An additional 150 downloads were made using a wireless Bluetooth connection.

The films -- each given $20,000 for the project -- ran from 3-5 minutes and ranged widely in subject matter.

"I believe mobile viewers will be surprised and delighted by the diversity of these films," said Bill Gajda, chief marketing officer at the GSMA. "Ranging from the comic to the exquisite, the radically different creative styles of storytelling play extraordinarily well to the unique, viral nature of the mobile medium."

In other news out of 3GSM, Google-owned YouTube will be coming to more mobile screens as the company has announced agreements with Vodafone and Nokia.

The deal with Vodafone will bring a daily selection of new YouTube videos to Vodafone's mobile customers, who also will have the option to upload content to the site through their devices and search for and forward videos. The service will initially run only in the U.K., but the companies expect to expand it to other European markets.

Under the agreement with Nokia, the cell phone manufacturer has made YouTube videos accessible on their NSeries devices via the Nokia Web Browser with Mini Map through YouTube's mobile site, which will be launched shortly. RSS feeds of YouTube videos also will be available through the new Nokia Video Center application.

Yahoo! announced the launch of its mobile display advertising platform. The new feature operates on the company's Yahoo! Mobile Web service and allows advertisers to reach mobile consumers in 19 countries.

Additionally, the Internet brand launched a new gamma version of Yahoo! Go for Mobile 2.0, which allows consumers to search directly from maps and share oneSearch results, news articles and the service directly with others. It also announced a global partnership with LG Electronics to distribute Yahoo! services.

Carly Mayberry and Alex Woodson contributed to this report.
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