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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

[Photo/China Daily]

"We hope the young Americans know more about the culture of Beijing and China by taking part in the contest. It's also a good way to strengthen the exchange and communications between the young generations of China and America," says Kevin Niu, chairman of the competition.

So how do the contestants feel?

"The experience in Beijing has opened my eyes to a culture and a country that I'd never truly known," says Selander, a freelance writer and director in Hollywood. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2010.

Like other winners, Selander stayed in Beijing for one week with his Chinese shooting team from the Beijing Film Academy.  The seven-day trip and countless discussions with his Chinese partners gave him a deeper sense of Beijing. Selander has reworked his script to "make it more authentic to Beijing".

"The original story is like an adventure. The hero has explored all those famous tourist spots in Beijing. It looks more like a promotion film for the city," jokes Gao Cao, director of Selander's script You, Me and Beijing. Gao is now at his second year for his master degree at Beijing Film Academy.

Selander's script follows a boy who left his American mother to live in Beijing with his Chinese father. Floundering in his new life in Beijing, the boy established a friendship with a Chinese girl through games and misadventures. Finally, he also eased the rigid attitudes of his father.

"It's weird for people living in Beijing to date at Tiananmen Square or the Forbidden City. We won't do that," says Nian Jianlun, the producer of You, Me and Beijing, also a student from Beijing Film Academy.

Special: 2013 Beijing International Screenwriting Competition