Nirvan Mullick
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Nirvan Mullick

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The best kept secret in music


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Nirvan Mullick is an award-winning filmmaker and digital strategist, whose short film CAINE'S ARCADE has taken the internet by storm and launched a worldwide movement.

CAINE'S ARCADE is an 11-minute film about a 9 year-old boy's hand-made cardboard arcade, located in his dad's used auto parts store in East LA. Caine dreamed of the day he would have customers visit his arcade, and he spent his summer preparing everything, perfecting the game design, making displays for the prizes (his toys), designing elaborate security systems, and hand-labeling paper-lunch-gift-bags. However, due to the store's location, his arcade got almost zero foot traffic, and he never had a customer.

One day, by chance, Nirvan walked in looking for a used door handle for his car. What he found was Caine's elaborate cardboard arcade. He asked Caine how it worked and was told that for $1 he could get two turns, or for $2 he could get a Fun Pass (with 500 turns). Nirvan bought the Fun Pass and became Caine's Arcade first—and only—paying customer. The idea for a film was born.

Through social media and a collaboration of friends and strangers, Nirvan organized surprise flash mob of customers for Caine's Arcade was arranged, giving Caine what he told his dad was "the best day of my whole life."

But it didn't end there. The CAINE'S ARCADE short film inspired the world to play, and the response has been nothing short of phenomenal, sparking a wave of DIY cardboard creativity in kids and schools around the world.

Since its first posting online in April 2012, the film has garnered over 7 million views, and has raised over $200k for a scholarship fund for Caine. Only 5 days after the film was posted online, The Imagination Foundation was formed, with a $250k Matching Grant from the Goldhirsh Foundation. The Imagination Foundation's mission is to find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in kids.

In just two months, over 100 schools in 9 countries were inspired to create cardboard arcades. This led to the development of a Project Based Learning curriculum and activity kits with the help of educators around the world. These activity kits are being used by other educators to inspire even more kids.

In October 2012 there will be a Cardboard Challenge culminating in a Global Day of Play. This event hopes to raise over $2.5 million to build a physical Maker Space in Caine's East LA Boyle Heights neighborhood, where kids can share their stories in ways that inspire others, develop a network of mentorship and participate in programs that teach creative thinking and social entrepreneurship at a young age.

The mainstream media has taken notice as well. Stories about CAINE'S ARCADE have appeared on NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNBC, NPR, CNN, BBC, in the NY Times, LA Times, Huffington Post, FORBES, Businessweek, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, AdWeek, The Christian Science Monitor, Fast Company Voice of America, WIRED and many more.

Nirvan is a partner at Interconnected, an LA based creative agency that specializes in digital strategy and creative campaigns for brands and non-profits. He continues to work on telling compelling stories, including "The 1 Second Film," a 10-year in the making non-profit collaborative art experiment, and is in demand as a speaker on using social media and storytelling for good. In the summer of 2012, he and Caine traveled to France to speak at the 2012 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.