If you’re a U.S. citizen who has always wanted to write a movie—and that movie you want to write just happens to take place in Beijing—well, have we got some exciting news for you: the Beijing International Screenwriting Competition, launched today, may want your script.
The competition, which aims to support creative collaboration between China and the U.S., is actually two separate contests. The main event is seeking proposals for a Beijing-set feature film; five winners will get cash prizes and a trip to Beijing, with one of those five receiving the grand prize of $15,000. (There’s no promise that the feature will be made into an actual movie, but the New YorkTimes reports that the contest’s organizers will seek investors once the winning script is selected.) There’s also a short film contest for a Beijing-set script written by a U.S.-based student, of which ten winners will receive a week-long trip to China and up to seven of those will have their films produced.
Who will pick the winners? The competition has named Mark Jonathan Harris, an Oscar-winning documentarian, and Tracey Trench, a studio exec and consultant at Oriental Dreamworks, as the “grand judges.” The competition is supervised by the state-owned cultural assets office of the city and sponsored by the Beijing Culture and Creative Corporation, which is a state-owned business founded for the purpose of international promotion of local and national Chinese culture.
It’s the first contest of its kind, but not really a surprising idea, as the Hollywood Reporter points out: China is a huge market for Hollywood, so American movie-making hopefuls are increasingly looking across the Pacific—even when there’s no cash prize encouraging them to do so.