January 19, 2011
Beijing – Celestial Pictures has launched ‘New Directors Workshop’, a program to nurture the next generation of Chinese filmmakers through mentorships and production opportunities. To kick-start the program, Celestial Pictures announced 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. “China’s box office revenue reached RMB10 billion (US$1.52 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 Xie Xiaojing, vice president, PhD supervisor and Professor of Beijing Film Academy and Manager of Youth Film Studio. 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 (US$3,000). The five completed screenplays will then be reviewed by the judging panel with the aim of producing the top three screenplays. “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,” said Ross Pollack, CEO of Celestial Pictures. Joining the panel of five judges is award-winning actress and filmmaker 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, 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 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 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.