US-based writers submit scripts set in Beijing

Updated: 2013-05-02 05:01

By Deng Zhangyu (China Daily)

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After receiving more than 1,000 screenplays from US-based contestants, organizers of the 2013 Beijing International Screenwriting Competition recently announced a collaboration with the Beijing Film Academy to film the scripts from finalists.

"We will select talented students from our postgraduates and graduates to help shoot final screenplays centered on Beijing," says Xie Xiaojing, vice-president of the Beijing Film Academy.

The screenwriting competition started in March in the US, where US-based writers of all nationalities were invited to submit short and feature film scripts on the topic of Beijing and its multifaceted culture.

Results will be unveiled on May 20.

Finalists will have an all-expenses-paid trip to Beijing in June to take part in the shooting of their screenplays.

China's biggest online video content distributor for TV dramas and films LeTV will provide the online platform for finished works.

"We've received more than 1,000 screenplays overall. Six of the short film scripts will be made into movies in June," says one of the two judges of the competition, Tracey Trench, a consultant to Oriental Dreamworks.

Trench says she is looking for authenticity.

"It can be dramatic, love stories or comedies. I'd love different types of ideas," says Trench.

According to Zhang Huiguang, director of the Beijing Cultural Assets Office and president of the competition, students from 13 top universities in the US, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton and the Julliard School have submitted their screenplays for short films.

The competition for short film screenplays is open only to US students; for feature films it is open to the public.

"We hope young people in the US will know more about Beijing and China by taking part in our contest," says Zhang.

The competition is organized by the Cultural Assets Office of Beijing municipal government and sponsored by Harvardwood, a nonprofit organization for Harvard University alumni.