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Chinese student wins piracy contest

Winner denounced downloading in short film

BEIJING — A Chinese college student and a screenwriter will make a trip to Hollywood after winning a Motion Picture Assn.-sponsored film competition denouncing piracy.

Liang Jinwei, 21, a broadcasting student from south China’s Guangxi U. for Ethnic Minorities, won top honors in the 14th Beijing Student Film Festival’s short video production competition with a one-minute video short on the theme “Respect Copyrights, Stay Away From Piracy.” Pic showed elementary kids in class learning that piracy is just like stealing money or a bike.

The other winner was Xue Xiaolu, whose screenplay “The Chinese New Year” won a competition that followed last year’s successful launch in Beijing of the first MPA Film Production Workshop to be held in China and the Asia-Pacific region.

During their visit to Hollywood, the duo will meet studio execs and visit film sets.

“Getting people talking about the need to protect products and trying to win over the hearts and minds of people is going to mean a lot more to us in the future than seizing 10 million (illegal) discs,” said Mike Ellis, MPA senior veep and regional director, Asia-Pacific, at the award ceremony in Beijing.

The competish is the latest MPA effort to stamp out China’s thriving trade in fake DVDs.

The winners were chosen by a jury including helmer Feng Xiaogang; Zhang Pimin, deputy director general of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television; and Zhu Yongde, chairman of the China Film Copyright Protection Assn. There were some 100 submissions to the competish.

The shorts from the competition were posted to five of China’s leading video sites, and the MPA is negotiating to have Liang’s film used as an educational trailer in Chinese theaters and on legitimate film discs, Ellis said.

The MPA says 93% of DVDs sold in China are unlicensed copies. Org reckons that of the $6.1 billion in lost revenue to the studios last year, some $1.2 billion can be blamed on piracy across the Asia-Pacific region.

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