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Capturing Beijing through the viewfinder

Updated: 2013-07-17 18:30
By Deng Zhangyu ( China Daily)

Capturing Beijing through the viewfinder

Crosby Selander are discussing the script with his Chinese producer Nian Jianlun and director Gao Cao. [Photo/China Daily]

American screenwriters taken on the challenge of capturing the real China in an international competition, Deng Zhangyu reports.

Is it romantic for an American boy and his brand-new Chinese girlfriend to meet at the Tiananmen Square or at the Forbidden City? Foreigners say yes but the Chinese wrinkle their foreheads, whispering it's weird.

That was what screenwriter Crosby Selander and his Chinese film team faced often when they sat down to discuss the script in Beijing last month — collisions of ideas between two different cultures.

Selander is one of the participants of the just-finished 2013 Beijing International Screenwriting Competition. The 29-year-old is among seven winners in the short-film category who will be financed to make their scripts into movies in Beijing.

Starting in March in the US, the screenwriting competition called for the US-based writers to submit scripts of either short films or features themed on Beijing. There were 861 scripts offered in total, including many from writers at top universities like Harvard, Princeton, Yale and MIT.

In recent years, efforts to push Chinese culture onto the international stage have expanded greatly — in arts, music and films. But this was the first-of-its-kind competition held by Beijing and got good feedback, according to the international public exposure and number of participants.

Special: 2013 Beijing International Screenwriting Competition

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