The Chinese government has announced an international screenwriting contest for American writers, with the contest winners getting their films financed by China.
Zhang Huiguang, director of the Beijing Municipal Government’s Cultural Assets Office, made the announcement that officially launched the 2013 Beijing International Screenwriting Competition for US-based writers.
In a statement by the Cultural Assets Office, the competition was described as an “unprecedented opportunity for aspiring and established US writers to obtain international recognition,” with submissions required to “prominently feature Beijing as a location, conveying in some way the romance, mystery and cultural richness of this great world capital.”
The contest is offering cash prizes totalling more than $100,000 and all finalists will receive an all-expense paid trip to Beijing in June to meet with Chinese investors.
The competition is also offering financing for up to seven of the short film prize winners.
Zhang will serve as the president of the competition, with film producer Kevin Niu serving as chairman.
Oscar-winning journalist-filmmaker Mark Harris and producer Tracey Trench (a former 20th Century Fox executive and now a key consultant to the Oriental DreamWorks animation studio joint venture in China) will be the competition’s main judges.
Proposals for the first round of the feature film competition are due April 7, and short film screenplays are due April 20 – the top finalists for each will be announced in May.
Niu said the competition “is one of the first established routes for US filmmakers to obtain direct access to the Chinese market.”
“I am thrilled that the Beijing International Screenwriting Competition is taking place at this time in history,” said Zhang.
“The city and people of Beijing are excited to begin a new era of creative and cultural collaboration with the US.”