Program lends a helping hand to young directors

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One of 10 films by shortlisted directors for the CFDG's Young Director Support Program´╝ŹLiu Siyi's Flaming Cloud. [Photo provided to China Daily]

It's a common problem for most young directors: How to raise enough money and bring to life a story that they've dreamed about for years?

To help them, the China Film Directors' Guild-one of the most influential associations in the country's film industry-established an annual program to help nurture young talent.

Titled Young Shoots, and also known as CFDG's Young Director Support Program, the project is sponsored by the China Film Administration, the country's top movie authority.

Recently in Beijing, its fourth edition unveiled 10 young, exceptional filmmakers, shortlisted from nearly 400 aspirants from China and abroad.

A final competition will decide five winners from the 10, who will each be awarded 1 million yuan ($148,877) to shoot their debut feature.

The decision will be made mainly based on the directors' scripts.

"Their average age is around 29. And seven of the 10 are educated overseas. So we are expecting their work will demonstrate more culturally diverse and international perspectives," says Li Shaohong, the president of the guild.

Li also says that the program, launched in 2015, has become an incubator to help emerging talents, and aims to nurture around 200 talents in the next decade.

To date, beneficiaries of the program have included Bi Gan, who is best known for the Cannes-nominated Long Day's Journey into Night, and Wen Muye, who shot to fame with the phenomenal hit Dying to Survive.

Most of the 10 scripts are inspired by campus life, a family story or hometown anecdotes, interwoven with an exploration of human and social issues.

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