Taking place during the Summit at the Whistler Film Festival, the China Canada Gateway For Film® Script Competition is a dynamic pitching competition designed to stimulate international coproduction financing for Canadian feature film projects.
China is the second largest cinema market after the US. According to the predictions of the China Film Producers' Association, by 2015 China will have built more than 7,000 new cinemas, and have annual box-office receipts of up to £3.7bn. The industry in China is growing at 30% per year. For Canadians, the attraction of making films that qualify as Chinese co-productions is twofold; first they escape China's current quotas on film imports, second, they earn significantly higher rentals, of up to 44%, compared with 12%-17% for imported titles. Further, China is one of the few countries in the world with available production dollars.
China wants to pursue an international audience and recognizes that Canada brings the best writers in the world to the table.
Similarly, while China has purchased all of the latest technology hardware and software for post production and special effects, they recognize that Canada has some of the best post and FX talent in the world.
The Whistler Film Festival Society (WFFS) has invested several years to build relationships in China to establish the Gateway, which will create project co-creation opportunities for Canadian filmmakers and introduce Canadian industry professionals to the fast growing Chinese film market.
WFFS is working in association with Telefilm Canada and the China Film Group. The three organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the China Canada Gateway For Film® Script Competition. This creates opportunities for the experienced creative community in Canada to participate in a China Canada feature film Co-Production.
The China Canada Script Competition is the first national effort of its kind, and the first that has received the blessing of the China Film Group. Historically Canada/China co-productions are few and far between and are deals that were negotiated individually based upon existing relationships. The Script Competition provides a level playing field to Canadian creators to do business with China by focusing around a slate of pre-selected international project presentations.
Canadian writer/producer teams are invited to submit an application and script synopsis by August 17, 2012 for consideration.
At least 3 projects for Co-Creation will be chosen in 2012, and 9 projects over 3 years.
The Script Competition is a one day limited seating event that will take place at the Whistler Film Festival’s Summit on November 29, 2012 where up to 12 experienced teams will each pitch a script synopsis to a panel of up to 5 international experts and 3 Chinese production companies. One additional team will be selected from a wild card draw to pitch from accepted applicants thereby encouraging all applicants to attend the Competition. These companies want to make films suitable to both the Chinese domestic market and the international market.
The Finalists will be announced by the Whistler Film Festival on or before October 31, 2012. All finalists will attend the Whistler Film Festival + Summit from November 28 to 30, 2012. Finalists will attend an Orientation on November 28, 2012, the Script Competition on November 29, 2012, and a debrief and meetings on November 30, 2012. The 3 winning project teams will attend meetings with their co-production partners on November 29 and December 1, 2012 as required.
The 'Creation Funds' will be provided by the Chinese and Canadian producers involved in the project. The actual structure of each deal will vary with needs of the proponents. The expected average project budget is $5 million.
- Projects must be feature films that will be rated PG and suitable for both the Chinese domestic market and International distribution.
- Any genre eligible but recommended focus is on romantic comedies and action thrillers. Please avoid Chinese historical drama.
- Expected budget level is up to $5 million per film.
- Chinese films projects are incredibly fast by North American standards. From concept to release in 12 months. Teams must be prepared to prioritize this project if chosen.
- Projects must have two experienced creative principals including 1 Writer and 1 Producer in place upon application.
- At least one member of the team must be a Canadian citizen or permanent residents of
- Canada (for at least 6 months).
- Canadians living outside the country qualify.
- You are required to provide a photocopy of proof of citizenship and or residency.
- Each Team, consisting of the writer and the producer, must provide:
- Primary Contact Information
- Biographies – maximum 300 words
- Filmography with your role specified
- Co-production experience an asset
- Industry References (not each other)
- Deadline: August 17th, close of business 5 pm PST
- $100 submission and processing fee plus 12% HST.
- Script synopsis only. Maximum 5 pages / 2,000 characters.
- Participants must agree to be available to present at a regional pitch session taking place between September 1 and October 15, 2012.
- Finalists must agree to participate in a workshop on November 28th, the day before the Pitch Session Finals. This is non-negotiable. The goal of the workshop is to prepare the teams for doing a deal with a Chinese company. The workshop will focus on the uniqueness of the Chinese market, and what to expect if they are chosen, including cultural sensitivity.
- Up to 12 finalists will be chosen from the regional pitch sessions to come to the Whistler Film Festival and present their synopsis to the Chinese producers.
- One additional pre-qualified application will be selected at the pitch competition on November 29
- Up to three will be chosen to develop their projects further as a Co-Creation with China, leading to film production.
- Your team must be available for training and or meetings on November 28, the pitch competition on November 29, and meetings November 30.
- You must agree to travel at your own expense. Discounted accommodation will be available by booking through the Whistle Film Festival. Regional assistance may be available.
- As a Finalist, you will be provided with two complimentary Premium Industry passes to attend the Whistler Film Festival + Summit.
ALL 12 FINALIST TEAMS (2 PEOPLE PER TEAM) MUST BE PREPARED TO:
- Sign an agreement in advance of being chosen as a finalist.
- Agreement pertains to:
- Travel expenses
- Availability to deliver the project within a tight time frame
- Terms of development investment and competition
All applicants will be notified of the selection committee’s decision by October 31, 2012. Chosen projects will have one week to confirm acceptance of the offered pitch slot and provide verification of text for publication. Each project may send up to 2 pitch members as part of this process. Pitch team members are accredited with a Whistler Summit Gateway Pass.
- Applications for the Script Competition are accepted by online submission only. Please do not send anything by post or mail to the Whistler Film Festival office.
- Entries including more than the requested documentation and exceeding the word count will not be accepted.
- Incomplete applications will not be considered.
- The text submitted at the entry deadlines will be reproduced in the Pitch Competition Catalogue.
- Selected projects will be contacted in order to update this information.
- Only independent writer/producer teams will be considered.
HOW TO APPLY
- Project Application Deadline: August 17, 2012.
- Registration opens June 18, 2012.
- Please note that the Script Competition is a limited-setting event requiring separate, advance registration with a Whistler Summit pass.
- Fully read the guidelines and FAQs
- Complete the online form at the bottom of this page
- Pay the submission fee
- Receive a confirmation of your application from our office within two weeks of submission.
If you have questions about the Script Competition, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our Programming Department at 604-938-3203.
Pitch Team Members
12 writer/producer teams and their projects will be pre-selected by the China Canada Gateway For Film® Script Competition Selection Committee to pitch at the 2012 Whistler Summit. In the months leading up to the pitch, teams will undergo rigorous training, consultancy and support with the Whistler Summit team and expert consultants.
Decision Makers attending the Whistler Summit are offered a curated slate of projects for consideration created by experience writer/producers teams. Decision makers will be (but are not limited to) international acquisition executives, distributors, sales agents, casting agents and other production partners.
The Whistler Summit Gateway Pass provides the unique opportunity for delegates to observe writer/producer teams and stakeholders as they present their projects live to a panel of international co-production experts and 3 Chinese studios. Whether you are a content producer or buyer, the Whistler Summit is an invaluable source of international market intelligence. Script Competition 15 minute pitch: Seven minute pitch… eight minute feedback… huge potential. Each presentation slot is 15 minutes, consisting of a seven-minute presentation from the production team, and a seven minute discussion and response period. Two moderators acting on behalf of the producer, lead and focus the discussions, bringing financing and valuable feedback to the production team.
Wild Card Draw for Script Competition Applicants
If you didn't get picked to pitch, you can win the wild card draw. One scheduled Wild Card draw slot is available to accredited Whistler Summit delegates who applied to the Script Competition. Interested delegates may put their business cards in the draw at the Orientation. A card will be selected the day before the Script Competition and the selected team has an opportunity to pitch their project. The selected delegate must report immediately to the moderators to show their pass and claim their presentation slot, otherwise another card will be selected.
For queries: email@example.com or call the Programming Department at 604-938-3203
For submissions: via the online application form