ROME The United Nations' food aid agency has
called on budding film-makers to help it raise awareness of
hunger and bring the reality of abject poverty and suffering to
the "YouTube" generation.
The World Food Program (WFP) launched a contest on
Wednesday for "edgy 30 or 60 second video(s) that will make the
online community buzz about global hunger," it said.
"For those of us doing the day-in, day-out backbreaking
work of getting food to hungry people, it's sometimes
discouraging how few people understand that hunger stalks and
kills a child every five seconds," said WFP communications
director Nancy Roman.
The five best films will be posted on the WFP's YouTube
site, with the overall winner receiving a trip to one of the
agency's relief operations.
Filmmakers stand a better chance of winning if they get
play on blogs or networking sites like Facebook or MySpace
before the competition's July 2008 deadline, WFP said.
The agency has posted its own video at its site
www.youtube.com/hungerbytes, which shows footage of people in
eating competitions bolting down hotdogs and plates of
spaghetti, accompanied by The Beatles' song "Piggies."
At the end of the video, the text reads: "850 million go to
bed hungry every night ... Share."
It is not the first time WFP has used computer technology
to raise awareness of its work. In 2005 it launched a video
game for children called "Food Force" in which players can plan
and deliver emergency food drops to starving people.
(Reporting by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Michael Winfrey)