One member of our development team lives in Northern Italy, which for a time was the alarming epicenter of the outbreak. The initial reaction among family and friends was skepticism. How could this be happening here?
For Francesco, his wife Giulia, and their 18-month old son, Davide, life is still far from normal. Francesco has been working from home as he often does. Of special concern is that Giulia is a health care professional working in a COVID-19 designated hospital. At first, the personal protective equipment (PPE) was running low, but now things are better. Once fully suited she resembles an astronaut.
Very early on, they decided that they were not going to go to extreme efforts to isolate from each other. It just wasn’t practical to try to keep Davide away from his mother! In fact, if they were going to get into trouble it would be together. There was a very strict crack down on being outside. Giulia and Davide were walking together in a nearby vineyard when they were stopped by police! Luckily, they could point to the house and were not fined. Imagine!
Francesco reports that the disruption that is the hardest to bear is not being able to see family – especially when you have a toddler. But the more mundane tasks like going to the market or pharmacy are more difficult. You need a pass to go out on errands. Then when you get to the market they don’t have what you need, like flour. [Ed note: Francesco was the first to warn me about flour shortages – it hadn’t happened in the U.S. yet] “Of course we need flour,” says Francesco, “We are Italian!”
Peter Sherman Crosby, Dotsub’s former Chief Revenue Officer returns to China
Twenty-five years ago, in 1994, Peter Sherman Crosby embarked on a life changing journey. After many years of reporting about China as a photojournalist, Peter found himself in love with the rich history, beautiful country, and the warmth of the people, especially in the countryside. He wanted to explore rural China and share it with the world, especially Americans, who were already beginning to fear the People’s Republic. It was the adventure of a lifetime!
Peter rode his bicycle from Beijing to Hong Kong, about 2000 miles, for National Geographic TV and Monitor Radio. See the National Geographic video here.
It was in 2015 that Peter went back to a much-changed China. Not only the stunning urban areas – modernity is reaching average citizens in the more central, rural, and rugged areas as well. This visit is documented here in episode 1 . Will Peter find the Lui family after so many years?? See episode 2 to find out.
So, after more than eight years with Dotsub, Peter is leaving to pursue another dream – to embark on a journey to rediscover today’s China and to reconnect with the warm and generous people he met there. Peter’s project is to bicycle the whole route again, all 2,000 miles, to find old friends and document the many positive changes. An adventure of a lifetime – again!
You can find out more about Peter’s Belly Of The Dragon project here. All of the videos are gathered here. All modern videos are captioned by Dotsub, of course!
Call for Videos – Deadline for submission is September 28, 2015.
This year the Mobile Film Festival is international and focused on the topic of Act for Climate Change. In collaboration with the United Nations, Dotsub,BNP Paribas, and Translators without Borders, this festival will celebrate the selection of 100 finalists and one Grand Prize winner presented under the auspices of the UN’s Climate Change Conference (COP21 -see sidebar) in Paris in December.
We sat with Bruno Smadja, founder and CEO of the Mobile Film Festival, to listen to his compelling story.
Now in its eleventh year, the Mobile Film Festival has always strived to discover, support and assist filmmakers following one single premise: 1 Mobile, 1 Minute, 1 Film. This year, the Mobile Film Festival is bringing an exciting opportunity to content creators – the festival is going global! Smadja’s challenge is to reach out to the whole world to find one minute films made on mobile phones that express the artists’ unique viewpoint on the topic of Act on Climate Change.
As you can imagine, lining up organizations as diverse as this year’s sponsors, is the culmination of months of cooperation and collaboration.
BNP Paribas has supported the Mobile Film Festival in the past and continues their commitment to all aspects of cinema in France, as well as all types of film-related events, both in France and abroad. The BNP Paribas Grand Prize winner is granted € 30,000 to make one film in one year.
The participants will naturally shoot their films in their native languages. 100 films will be selected for the official competition. Dotsub founder and CEO, Michael Smolens, and Smadja have a long relationship, so it was natural for Smadja to reach out to Dotsub to provide the platform for captions and translations. “We were delighted to join in this inspiring endeavor,” explains Smolens, “The removal of cross-cultural and cross-lingual obstacles is Dotsub’s mission – which applies so well to the UN Conference and the Mobile Film Festival.”
“We are very honored to be partnering with the United Nations for this very special and international festival,” said Smadja, “We are also excited that Dotsub enables us to tell this story of worldwide importance by breaking down language barriers, giving these filmmakers the chance to vastly extend the reach of their films to a global audience.”
As submissions are in the artists’ own languages, Dotsub will provide the platform for providing captions and translations for the 100 finalists with translation into being done by NGO Translators without Borders as well as other approved translators in scores of languages.
These 100 films will be selected in competition. The first place film maker will be awarded a grant of €30,000 from BNP Paribas to be used for the production of a film within a year. All awards will be awarded in a ceremony on December 7, 2015 in Paris.
“We have asked for film creators to tap into their passion for the environment as well use their ingenuity to suggest solutions – all in one minute shot on a mobile device. The results are incredible, we already have submissions from all five inhabited continents!” exclaimed Smadja.
Smadja continues, “It has always been our mission to discover and support young film makers. But to be able to focus on a topic with global impact, and to showcase their talent at such a prestigious event, the UN Conference on Climate Change, well, it is a dream come true!”
Bruno Smadja created the Mobile Film Festival in 2005. For the past 11 editions it has been dedicated to discover, support and accompany young directors by proposing to take part to a smart challenge based on a unique idea 1 Mobile, 1 Minute, 1 Film.
The Mobile Film Festival 2015 is an online film competition to discover new talent while raising awareness of climate change worldwide. The use of mobile technology creates a more level playing field that gives wide distribution to new storytellers. Judged by a panel of filmmakers such as Fernando Meirelles, winners will be announced at a live awards ceremony at The United Nations Climate Change Conference 2015, with the Best Film getting put into production by a professional crew.
Dotsub is a language product and services company making your online video available to all via translations, captions and voice-overs. By increasing the global reach of your video, its value increases dramatically with added accessibility and audience engagement. Our closed captions meet federal standards for the deaf and hearing impaired, and by offering translations in over 500 languages, Dotsub extends the influence of your video world-wide. www.dotsub.com
This edition’s location in the spotlight is St Helena, from where one user visited the Dotsub website in the two month period spanning June and July 2015.
If you have heard of it at all, you probably know it as the place where Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled from October 1815 until his death in May 1821, but there is quite a lot more to the place than that. It figures in many areas of British history and can be linked with many names that you will recognize, no matter where your interests may lie.
It has claims to fame in political, military and commercial history, astronomy and environmentalism to name a few.
Saint Helena is a tropical island of volcanic origin in the South Atlantic Ocean, 4,000 km east of Rio de Janeiro and 1,950 km west of the southern coast of Africa. It is part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, which also includes Ascension Island and the islands of Tristan da Cunha. Saint Helena measures about 16 by 8 kilometres (10 by 5 mi) and has a population of 4,255 (2008 census).
The island was uninhabited when discovered by the Portuguese in 1502. One of the most remote islands in the world, it was for centuries an important stopover for ships sailing to Europe from Asia and South Africa. Napoleon was imprisoned there in exile by the British, as were Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo (for leading a Zulu army against British rule) and more than 5,000 Boers taken prisoner during the Second Boer War.
In 1657, Oliver Cromwell granted the English East India Company a charter to govern Saint Helena and the following year the company decided to fortify the island and colonize it with planters. The first governor, Captain John Dutton, arriv
ed in 1659, making Saint Helena one of Britain’s oldest colonies outside North America and the Caribbean. A fort and houses were built. After the Restoration of the Englishmonarchy in 1660, the East India Company received a royal charter giving it the sole right to fortify and colonize the island.
On leaving the University of Oxford, in 1676, Edmond Halley visited Saint Helena and set up an observatory with a 7.3-metre-long (24 ft) aerial telescope with the intention of studying stars from the Southern Hemisphere. The site of this telescope is near Saint Mathew’s Church in Hutt’s Gate, in the Longwood district. The 680-metre (2,230 ft) high hill there is named for him and is called Halley’s Mount.
Between 1791 and 1833, Saint Helena became the site of a series of experiments in conservation, reforestation and attempts to boost rainfall artificially. This environmental intervention was closely linked to the conceptualization of the processes of environmental change and helped establish the roots of environmentalism.
So as always if you think something is just a lump of volcanic rock in the South Atlantic and nothing very interesting, look again, you are probably wrong.
Let’s take a look at Dotsub.com’s statistics for the months of April and May 2015 combined.
We will start with languages. As usual, the top four remain steady with English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French. Czech dropped to sixth place. These languages have remained consistent for the past several months while the rest hop about.
During these months, both Arabic and Catalan dropped out of the top 20.
Once again, removing the most numerous, reveals the details.
For the location of visitors to Dotsub.com, the U.S. is always on top, and the next few countries, Canada, Australia, and the UK usually round out the top 4, but the rest of the top 20 is quite volatile and their order varies wildly month to month. Portugal, Romania, The Netherlands and New Zealand have dropped off; while Austria, Argentina, Japan, and Poland are now in the top 20.
So, removing the the top 4 gives us a better look at the rest of the top 20.
We had two visits from Vatican City to our website during these months. Vatican City is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both area and population.
The Holy See uses Latin as its main official language, Italian as its main working language and French as its main diplomatic language. Their Secretary of State uses English, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. Meanwhile, the Swiss Guard, essentially the Pope’s body guards, use German, as well as French and Italian.
And, yes it is true that the Vatican’s ATMs offer the option to use Latin for banking transactions.
Let’s take a look at Dotsub.com’s statistics for the month of February 2015.
We will start with languages. As usual, the top five remain steady with English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Czech. These languages have remained consistent for the past several months. The rest of the top 15 languages play a sort of musical chairs amongst a group of about 18.
This month Dutch returned to the sixth spot, Hebrew moved up from 20th to 15th, Arabic makes an appearance at 20th and Slovakian replaced Slovenian.
For the location of visitors to Dotsub.com, the U.S. is always on top, and the next few countries, Canada, Australia, and the UK usually round out the top 4, but the rest of the top 20 is quite volatile and their order varies wildly month to month.
So, removing the the top 4 gives us a better look at the rest of the top 20. Brazil and Spain change places Colombia and India both move into the top twenty with Japan and Mexico making way for them.
In January, we had a single visit from the Isle of Man, the Central African Republic, the Solomon Islands and Sierra Leone.
Normally I would provide a lot of data and some interesting facts for one of our singletons, but this month something else is worth mentioning. Over the last 18 months or so we have seen Vanuatu in our logs many times, several as one of our single visitors. As you probably know, on March 14th, 2015 what many have said is the worst cyclone in the Pacific’s history, Pam, slammed into the island archipelago of Vanuatu, killing at least eight people and leaving thousands homeless, according to reports from aid organizations.