Attention American writers: China is calling. Beijing’s municipal government is launching an international screenwriting competition for U.S.-based writers of all nationalities. The “tale of Beijing” themed contest is open to aspiring and established writers who submit short and feature-length screenplays centered on China’s capital city and its culture. Stated goal of the initiative is to foster artistic collaboration and creative dialogue between China and the US. Unlike many other contests, there is no entry fee for the 2013 Beijing International Screenwriting Competition. 

Proposals for the first round of the feature film competition are due April 7th, and short film screenplays are due April 20th. Top finalists for each will be announced in May. In addition to international recognition and cash prizes totaling more than $100,000, all the finalists will receive all-expense paid trips to Beijing in June where they will have the opportunity to meet with Chinese investors. For the short film competition, up to seven grand prize winners will receive financing for the production of their films. For full submission rules and guidelines, please visit: http://writebeijing.org/competition.

The Beijing Cultural Assets Office Director Huiguang Zhang was expected to announce the competition Monday in New York City. She will serve as president of the competition and film producer Kevin Niu will serve as chairman. Oscar-winning documentarian Mark Harris (Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport) and Tracey Trench, producer of the 2006 The Pink Panther and Ever After (1998) and consultant for Oriental DreamWorks, will be the grand judges.

The feature film competition is open to professional writers, students, and the general public. The short film screenplay competition is is open only to US students. In keeping with the competition’s theme, all submissions must prominently feature Beijing as a location, conveying its romance and mystique in some way. The 2013 Beijing International Screenwriting Competition is sponsored by the Beijing International Creative Industry Corp. Other partners include China’s cyber video content technology firm LeTV and Harvardwood

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