India's Viacom18 Launches Short Film Contest Inspired by Upcoming Boxing Biopic

Priyanka Chopra in 'Mary Kom' 2014 film - H

The Cineshorts competition invites budding filmmakers to submit shorts focused on the theme "Against All Odds," inspired by the studio's "Mary Kom."

Viacom18 Motion Pictures has launched Cineshorts, a film talent contest inviting budding Indian filmmakers to submit a five-minute short around the theme of "Against All Odds."

The idea is inspired by the studio's upcoming boxing biopic Mary Kom, starring Priyanka Chopra. The film is based on the real-life story of India's first female boxing champion to win an Olympic medal.

“When you want to establish yourself in life, you do not always need somebody to aid you, but what you need is immense belief and a strong confidence in yourself,” Chopra said in a statement supporting the initiative. “So, if I did and so did Mary Kom, why can’t you? So when you have a platform like Cineshorts, why don’t you just go out there and show them your talent so the whole world knows about it?”

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The Cineshorts jury includes filmmaker and Mary Kom producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Mary Kom director Omung Kumar and Viacom18 COO Ajit Andhare, along with other company executives.

“It’s a wonderful platform. I mean, when I started off in 1994, with [my debut film] Khamoshi, it was a very difficult process,” said Bhansali. “Today’s youth come out with new ways of looking at life.... So this is an amazing opportunity for me to see what contestants have to offer.”

The winning filmmakers will receive cash prizes, and the shorts will be premiered on Viacom's recently launched Pepsi MTV Indies channel, which showcases alternative content.

As reported earlier, Mary Kom will premiere at the Toronto film festival.

Entries can be submitted online at until Sep. 30.