‘Great content comes in many shapes and sizes.’ With these words, Rita Bhimani, a well-known and well-respected media and communication specialist in the fraternity flagged off the event URL 2020 with amidst online cheers and applauds.
Cecil Antony, Managing Trustee and Chief Mentor, NSHM Knowledge Campus, Kolkata and Durgapur applauds students on online with his message, “… Very well done students, mentors and the audience. Great event and congrats to all. “
It’s hard for me to imagine the way curators of URL 2020 have taken the event forward has opened to the exciting news ways in which students and professionals can engage, share talents, experiences, and valuable learnings. It was gratifying to see so much of talent from students who are, and I must say immensely musical and also to hear some of the stalwarts from industry, adds Rita Bhimani.
Infotainment is the balance of mindful information with fun-filled entertainment. From 19 -21 June, URL 2020, a three-day event organized by NSHM School of Media and Communication (NSMC), NSHM Knowledge Campus Kolkata succeeded in providing a perfect blend of entertainment and information in our locked down lives.
URL 2020, India’s first online ‘Infotainment’ proved to be the most beautiful example of evolving times and keeping up with the ‘new normal.’ The just-concluded event is created and curated by the final year postgraduate students of NSHM media school and supported by ABP Education and the netizens.
The event grabs your attention from the off, with every speaker and performer inspired by the theme of the event, Unity, Responsibility, and Learning. Amidst pop culture, folk music is fading away. Mohul, through their best attempts, keep our traditions alive and come up with the most beautiful folk compositions.
There’s light at the end of the tunnel and elucidated the fact better than Sumit Agarwal, a disability activist & storyteller. He imparts knowledge about how to hold on to positivity during the testing times. Lauding the event, Agarwal says, “Communication is changing rapidly, and there is a need to shift from ‘monologue’ to ‘dialogue’ and interaction.
URL 2020 is the ‘perfect beginning of a conglomeration of entertainment and education”, says Sumana Nag. Sumana Nag, an extraordinaire dancer, while performing redefined grace & versatility. ‘The Mask,’ a short film produced exclusively for URL 2020, establishes the fact ‘let your eyes do the talking.’ Co-creators Susmeli Datta & Aditi Bhattacharya stresses on the importance of wearing a mask in current times, especially to the fashionistas who flinches from wearing it.
“Anchor Anisha Ray interacts with the co-creators of The Mask Susmeli Datta and Aditi Bhattacharya stresses on the importance of wearing a mask in current times, especially to the fashionistas who flinches from wearing it”.
Susmita Guha Thakurta, a singer par excellence, has enriched the event with her melodious voice, all the way from Amsterdam. Kalyani Mookherji gives an insight into how to act responsibly in this testing and tiring times, how to enhance our skills irrespective of the oddities. On asked about her views about the event, she says, “An interesting concept complemented with a stellar team – that is what URL 2020 turned out to be for me. I not only enjoyed reaching out to a fantastic audience through the event but took away important tips on upskilling and innovation, that is the sign of the times.”
“URL2020 also performed its CSR by showcasing MARU MANI, the social media initiative of Lok Samvad Sansthan a leading NGO based in Jaipur to protect the most richest Folk form of Rajasthan and helping these prolific talented artists through crowdfunding in this difficult times” according to Prof. Debanjan Banerjee, HOD, Media, NSHM and also the Eastern India’s Brand Ambassador of Maru Mani.
Fauj ki Daawat, with Anandha Karthik, a food and social media researcher, Baker and Culinary enthusiasts, brings us her famous recipe of Tipsy Pudding and shares unknown facts about the traditions of food in Armed Forces. “This was a unique event curated so beautifully and carefully by an extremely professional team of students and faculty at NSHM,” says Anandha Karthik. It is entirely my privilege that I got to be a part of such a fantastic event, truly a melting pot of information and entertainment, brimming from the various corners of the country, she adds.
With the creativity inherent with the talented students of NSHM, the event has provided a platform for the students to broadcast their work to a broader audience. Filmmaker, Sannidh Raychaudhuri, shot and edited a short film entirely during the lockdown. URL 2020 also the premiere of a short film ‘Roop ki Rani’ based on the skin color discrimination that often remains unaddressed among youth. Maverick photographer duo Deepro Biswas and Soumyajit Dey have a tête-à-tête about the visual treats of life captured on the roll. The duo also had their photo published on National Geographic Traveller India.
Alumnus Shomedutta elegantly graced the event with her soulful and affective voice, taking requests from the audience and embedding audiences’ ever emotional comments, making URL 2020 a truly memorable online event. Moinak Ganguly, a real theatre activist, paid his tribute to the pride month by giving a gut-wrenching monologue about the trans-genders in India and how are they are treated in India. His performance left everyone speechless and inspired people to be a little more kind towards others. In his words, “Thanks a million times to the entire TEAM URL to curate this amazing event and provide one of a kind and a silver lining experience amidst the pandemic. Congratulations and hope to see more of this sort in the future.”
“Anchor Anisha Ray salutes Moinak Ganguly for his astounding performance The Tender Gender, his tribute to the pride month by giving a gut-wrenching monologue about the trans-genders in India”.
“It’s great to discover that we created and curated one of its kind virtual-fest initiatives, which got successfully culminated as students’ project. URL 2020” will open up new vistas for borderless and flexible student engagements adding to the ‘new normal,’ says Dr. Krishnendu Sarkar, Chief of strategy and impact, NSHM knowledge campus, Kolkata and Durgapur.
“The results which you all witnesses; three hours of ‘mindful entertainment’ for three consecutive days that has crossed 10k views and still growing”, says Firoz Mohammed, Director of NSHM College of Management and Technology and Media and communication. I proudly call this event, “India’s first mindful infotainment online event” ever created and curated by the students,” adds Firoz Mohammed.
“India’s first online ‘mindful infotainment’ event created and curated by students will continue to spellbound netizens; Firoz Mohammed, Director NSHM School of Media and Communication”
Mentioning about the upcoming eBook of URL 2020, Rita adds, “I always spoke about feedback in my profession of Public Relations, and I am so glad that this feedback is coming in the form of an eBook. I congratulate students who worked as curators, the professors who were the mentors, the moderators, the participants, all of whom will be putting their ideas together for the book URL 2020. Apart from social media, which has publicized this event very well, we need something concrete to hold. So, here’s to many more Interactive sessions during COVID 19 times”.
By Manjari Ray and Saptadyuti Kar; Photos by Sayan Das