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New Directors Workshop for new Chinese filmmakers.


Celestial Pictures, Beijing Film Academy and Youth Film Studio unite to develop new filmmakers with a Shaw Brothers remake screenplay competition

Award-winning actress and filmmaker Sylvia Chang to co-judge the competition and mentor the winner


Celestial Pictures, the Hong Kong-based Chinese filmed content company and operator of regional pay-TV channels, announced at a press conference today the launch of a program to cultivate new Chinese filmmakers. Entitled the "New Directors Workshop," the program aims to discover and nurture the next generation of Chinese filmmakers through mentorships and production opportunities.  Phase one of the program is a screenplay competition to remake selected Shaw Brothers classics. The competition is a collaboration between Celestial Pictures, Beijing Film Academy (BFA) and Youth Film Studio (YFS) and is open to the 2011 graduating class as well as past graduates of BFA's directors program.  


Entrants of the competition are asked to submit a 6-to-8 page story treatment based on any one of ten selected films from Celestial's Shaw Brothers Film Library.  Five of the story treatments will then be short-listed by a panel of judges to be further developed into full-length screenplays and the five filmmakers will each be given a cash development fund of RMB20,000.  The five completed screenplays will then be reviewed by the judging panel with the aim of producing the top three screenplays.


"It is an honor for Celestial Pictures to join forces with Beijing Film Academy and Youth Film Studio to help develop a new generation of filmmakers in China," said Mr. Ross Pollack, CEO of Celestial Pictures.  "As custodians of the renowned Shaw Brothers Film Library, we possess a vast pool of iconic stories and characters which have inspired countless filmmakers. We are privileged to bring this significant resource to China and have participants create screenplays and, ultimately, films which will entertain a whole new generation of fans," he added.


"China's box office revenue reached RMB10 billion last year, yet there is still a lack of filmmaking talent in China.  Our students need more opportunities to practice and sharpen their filmmaking skills.  This is why we value our cooperation with Celestial Pictures.  Movies from the Shaw Brothers Film Library will inspire our students while helping them develop their own creativity.  This is the best training for our students to become well-rounded filmmakers," said Mr. Xie Xiaojing, vice president, PhD supervisor and Professor of Beijing Film Academy and Manager of Youth Film Studio.


Joining the panel of five judges is award-winning actress and filmmaker, Ms. Sylvia Chang (Run Papa Run, 20/30/40, Tempting Heart). The remaining judges will comprise of two executives from Celestial Pictures and two executives from BFA and YFS, respectively. In addition to judging the competition, Ms. Chang will also mentor one of the winners and in cooperation with Celestial Pictures, help produce his or her script.  Concurrently, Celestial Pictures, BFA and YFS plan to select two additional winners and jointly produce their screenplays.  


"I am pleased to work with the panel and I look forward to seeing the fresh ideas and energy in the works of our young filmmakers.  I have seen in the past many filmmakers having difficulties realizing their movie dreams because of lack of experience and the guidance of a good producer.  I hope that with this opportunity, I can offer my experience and help them realize their dreams a little sooner," said Sylvia Chang.


Included among the ten Shaw Brothers classics selected for this competition are:  the martial arts film Brothers Five, starring Cheng Pei-pei; the 1984 romantic drama Behind the Yellow Line starring Maggie Cheung with Hong Kong legends Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui; the gangland action drama The Bloody Escape starring Chen Kuan-tai; and the Wong Jing comedy hit Girl with the Diamond Slipper.


The iconic Shaw star Cheng Pei-pei (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Come Drink with Me) also attended the launch of "New Directors Workshop" today to show her support and share some of her experience with the audience.


"I'm very pleased to see these classics revisited through the creative process of young filmmakers.  I can see that the creative spirit of Shaw Brothers will pass down to the next generation.  I also hope to have the opportunity to work with these new talents," said Ms. Cheng.


The competition is now open and more information can be found on Celestial Pictures' website Submissions of the story treatments will start 1 March, 2011 and end 30 April, 2011.  The five shortlisted story treatments will be announced in June 2011, while the winning projects will be announced in November 2011. The complete list of Shaw Brothers movies selected for this competition is as follows:


1) 埋伏                    Ambush (1972)

2) 五虎屠龙            Brothers Five (1970)

3) 缘份                   Behind the Yellow Line (1984)

4) 逃亡                   The Bloody Escape (1974)

5) 亡命徒               The Fugitive (1972)

6) 摩登仙履奇缘    Girl with the Diamond Slipper (1985)

7) 双星伴月           The Happy Trio (1975)

8) 掌门人              The Lady is the Boss (1983)

9) 错点鸳鸯           Love with the Perfect Stranger (1985)

10)无味神探            Loving You (1995)


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