Beijing Film Fest: Chris Dodd Presents Prize to Film Workshop Winner

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Christopher Dodd

Aspiring filmmaker Zheng Ye's project "Momo" took the top award at the two-day screenwriting and pitching seminar, which featured talks from Paramount Pictures COO Frederick Huntsberry and "Rio 2" director Carlos Saldanha.

MPAA chairman Chris Dodd was on hand in Beijing Saturday to present the top prize to the winner of the MPAA-sponsored Beijing Film Workshop.

Aspiring Chinese director Zheng Ye, who wrote and presented the feature film project Momo, took home the award. The director pitched his project to a jury of renowned Chinese and international filmmakers and executives during the event held during the Beijing International Film Festival last week.

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Handing Zheng the prize, Dodd said: "The film and television industry in China continues to generate excitement and opportunities and is certainly the place for passionate filmmakers with stories to tell. I hope that your participation in the film workshop is of value to you as you develop your projects and share them with your colleagues in the screen community, and that one day we will see your movies in theaters around the world. I congratulate all of you on your work and wish you all the best in your future endeavors in the film industry."

Zheng's film tells the story of a dog that spends its life serving loyally as a police dog and searching for survivors of an earthquake, set against the background of a community that attaches little value to the life and well-being of animals.

Zheng will join other emerging filmmakers at a comprehensive immersion course in filmmaking in Los Angeles in November, sponsored by the MPAA. Two high commendations were awarded to director Li Haodong for his film Haze and Jiang Wei for the project California Sunshine.

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The two-day event, themed "Imagination," opened with keynote speeches from Frederick Huntsberry, COO of Paramount Pictures, Wang Liping, the Beijing festival's deputy secretary and Zhang Xun, president of the China Film Co-production Corporation.

Their speeches were followed by a panel discussion featuring Carlos Saldanha, director of Rio 2, which had just opened in China; Ye Ning, senior vp Wanda Culture Group; Andre Morgan, producer of Bruce Lee's Enter The DragonEllen Eliasoph, president and CEO Village Roadshow Pictures Asia; Harris Tulchin, producer of The Devil’s Double; and Tracey Trench, creative director at Oriental Dreamworks.

The Beijing International Film Festival runs April 15-23. The festival's Tiantan Awards, celebrating cinematic excellence, will be handed out by a jury chaired by director John Woo on April 23.