Beijing launching contest for US screenwriters

The Beijing Municipal Government is launching an international screenwriting contest for U.S.-based scribes of all nationalities.

The competition is seeking short film and feature film screenplays centered on Beijing.

“As the first of its kind, the goal of this groundbreaking initiative is to foster artistic collaboration and an ongoing creative dialogue between China and the US,” the municipality said in the announcement.

The contest is offering cash prizes totaling more than $100,000 and all finalists will receive all-expense paid trips to Beijing in June to meet with Chinese investors. It’s also offering financing for up to seven of the short film prize winners.

Huiguang Zhang, director of the city’s Cultural Assets Office, has been selected as president of the competition and film producer Kevin Niu will be chairman. Honorary competition presidents will include Vice-Mayor of Beijing Wei Lu and director Mark Harris; Harris and Tracey Trench will be the “grand judges.”

“This competition is one of the first established routes for US filmmakers to obtain direct access to the Chinese market,” said Niu. “It will serve as a model for future cultural collaboration between the US and China – one that bridges the gap between our two cultures.”