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You can do a lot in 42 seconds—if you’re good. So for its new series of artistic short films, ‘Onedreamrush’, 42 Below has commissioned some of the most creative directors to be found. Forty-two of them, to be exact.

The roster is still being confirmed as Idealog goes to press, but it already includes arthouse pioneers like Kenneth Anger, Hollywood big-noters like Mike Figgis, up-and-coming talents like Asia Argento and Yung Chang, and local heroes Niki Caro and Taika Waititi. It’s also an opportunity for other artists, like actress Rinko Kikuchi and designer Dee Poon, to turn their talents to direction. The judging panel includes German auteur Werner Herzog and Chinese arthouse icon Ge You.

Hang on—42 Below is commissioning artists? And appointing judges? Whatever happened to user-generated content? To asking your customers to select a winner? Did 42 Below not receive the memo?

That’s just the point, say Ilya Rozhdestvensky and Rajan Mehta, who are curating ‘Onedreamrush’ for 42 Below. The vodka maker is using the competition to reach out to the professional creative community, and to publicly endorse the talented individuals. They’re bringing an editorial eye to the selection.

But that doesn’t mean taking control, says Mehta. The brief is simple: dreams. There’s no product placement, advertising tie-in or celebrity endorsement.

The first few films muse on gender, art, control, black magic, dreams, desire and whatever takes the directors’ varied fancies. They reflect the East-meets-West character of the roster and, of course, the mystical nature of the dreamy brief.

The ‘Onedreamrush’ exhibition will launch in Beijing in April, and travel to various world cities in the following months. The short films are steadily being added to a website, 42x42.com, and a book and DVD are in the works too.