filmmaking production support
Short & Sharp Pro
Open Channel's Jehan Ratnatunga wins the National Pitch in Sydney and then was off to MPA-CICE workshop in Beijing
One of Victoria's most exciting emerging screenwriters Jehan Ratnatunga has taken out the feature film pitching competition, The National Pitch, with his coming of age romantic comedy, Arranged (co-written with Ary Ganeshalingam and Arj Ganeshalingam). The National Pitch which is a SDA (Screen Development Australia) initiative in partnership with MPA (Motion Picture Association) Asia Pacific, was recently held as part of Metro Screen's 30th Anniversary celebrations.
Jehan, was selected to represent Victoria through Open Channel's Short & Sharp Pro, went onto represent Australia at the MPA-CICE Film Workshop held in Beijing, China on December 1 to 3. Jehan was selected from a highly competitive field of representatives from around Australia by a judging panel comprised of Producers Jan Chapman (The Piano, Love Serenade, Lantana, Bright Star ), and Vincent Sheehan (The Hunter, Animal Kingdom, Little Fish, TV's Laid ), Distributor Richard Payten (Managing Director, Transmission), Stephen Jenner (Public Relations Consultant for the Motion Picture Association (MPA) Asia Pacific) and Screen Australia's Chris Oliver (Senior Manager, State and Industry Partnerships, Screen Australia).
Open Channel Executive Director Jennie Hughes commented, "We're thrilled that Jehan will be representing Australia at the MPA-CICE (China International Copyright Expo) Film Workshop in Beijing. He took out our Short and Sharp Pro Pitching Competition (supported by Film Victoria) in late-September, where he wowed a selection panel including Seph McKenna (Head of Australian Production, Roadshow Films). He has a strong vision for Arranged and a great talent for the art of pitching. He also has highly experienced filmmaker, Marc Gracie attached to the project which also recently received development funding from Film Victoria. In addition to Jehan's win , I'm also delighted to have the opportunity to work on such a great joint initiative with our SDA colleagues and look forward to many more".
Jehan's victory marks the final stage of Open Channels Short & Sharp Pro (a brand extension of Open Channel's highly successful Short & Sharp Pitching Competition) and provides Jehan with the very real opportunity to emulate the success of recent Workshop participant Xue Xiaolu , whose debut feature film Ocean Heaven, starring Jet Li (Once Upon a Time in China, Hero) and produced by Bill Kong (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Lust, Caution ), was produced off the back of her involvement in the Workshop.
What is the MPA CICE Film Workshop?
The MPA CICE Film Workshop brings together senior international, Chinese film industry professionals and emerging filmmakers from across the Asia/Pacific region to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas on the craft, business and technology of filmmaking. The workshop also provides an opportunity for filmmakers to develop their careers, build networks and potentially collaborate on new projects. Similar competitions are being held to select the representatives from the 13 other territories in the Asia Pacific. On the second day of the workshop a pitching competition is held with this years prize is yet to be announced.
MPA CICE FILM WORKSHOP 2011, Supported by MPA, AFACT and MPDAA
Details of the Beijing Workshop
The MPA CICE Film Workshop was a two-day program focusing on a range of hot topics of interest to filmmakers from the Asia Pacific, such as:
Day 1: Thursday December 1
- Opportunities for growth and innovation in the screen industry in China
- Co-production and screen business opportunities between China and the international community
- Developing a script that works
- Producing feature film and television in the US • All things digital, 3D and creative approaches
Day 2: Friday 2 December
- Welcome to China: Working with government, creative partnerships, conducting good business and legal tips
- Innovative and entrepreneurial ways to develop your filmmaking career
- Feature film script pitching competition
The MPA CICE Film Workshop was presented by a number of acclaimed Chinese and international film practitioners, including: Xue Xiaolu, Lora Chen, Sid Ganis, Harris E. Tulchin, Ira Deutchman, Alister Grierson, Bec Smith, John Polson, Pauline Chan. Please note: Workshop speakers subject to change
Xue Xiaolu is an award-winning scriptwriter-turned-director and Associate Professor at the Beijing Film Academy's Literature Department. Miss Xue has written nine feature film screenplays which have been theatrically released, including Together, for Chen Kaige. In 2009, Miss Xue wrote her directing debut Ocean Heaven, starring Jet Li in his first non-action film. The film opened the 13th Shanghai International Film Festival 2010 and later won her the Emerging Talent of the Year Award at CineAsia. Miss Xue is a member of the Selection Panel for the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund which will be announced on 24 November 2011.
Lora Chen is a principal consultant at China Media Consulting, Culver City, California. She specializes in business development and strategic planning for US Corporations in doing business with China. Her client list includes Paramount Parks, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Sony Pictures Entertainment, as well as various independent production companies, and law firms. Ms. Chen is currently developing and teaching a graduate course: "U.S. Filmed Entertainment business systems and operations" at the Beijing Film Academy, Beijing, China.
Sid Ganis founded Out Of The Blue Entertainment in 1996 following a distinguished career as an executive at several major studios including Sony Pictures, Lucasfilm, Warner Bros. and Paramount. As a producer, Ganis found box office success with Big Daddy, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo and Mr. Deeds and the critically acclaimed Akeelah And The Bee, which he co-produced with his wife Nancy Hult Ganis. Mr. Ganis served four consecutive, year-long terms as the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Currently, he is co-executive producer on the drama series Pan Am for ABC.
Harris E. Tulchin
Harris E. Tulchin is a graduate of Cornell University and Hastings Law School. He has practiced law since 1978 and is principal of the international entertainment and multimedia law firm Harris Tulchin & Associates. He has lectured extensively at forums such as UCLA, AFI, IFP, Digital Hollywood and USC. Mr. Tulchin has served as Executive Producer on several feature films and is the author of The Independent Film Producer's Survival Guide – a step-by-step guide to the business and legal issues involved in producing an independent film.
Ira Deutchman has been making, marketing and distributing films since 1975, having worked on over 150 films including some of the most successful independent films of all time. He was one of the founders of Cinecom and later created Fine Line Features – two companies that were created from scratch and in their respective times, helped define the independent film business. Currently Mr. Deutchman is Managing Partner of Emerging Pictures, a New York-based digital exhibition company. He is also a Professor of Professional Practice in the Graduate Film Division of the School of the Arts at Columbia University, where he is the head of the Producing Program.
Alister Grierson is an Australian film director and scriptwriter. He graduated in Economics and Arts from the Australian National University and studied Japanese in Tokyo. He later gained a Master of Arts in Directing at the Australian Radio Film & Television School. He has made 15 short films and won three Tropfest awards. Mr. Grierson co-wrote and directed the WWII feature film Kokoda, and most recently directed James Cameron's Sanctum, a 3D cave-diving drama, using the Cameron- developed Fusion Camera System. The script for Sanctum was inspired by the near-death experience of one of the writers, Andrew Wight, who was trapped in a cave collapse during a dive under the Nullarbor Plain.
Bec Smith is an agent in the Motion Picture Literary Department of leading talent and literary agency UTA, as well as an agent in UTA's Independent Film Group where she focuses on the packaging, financing and sales of independent film. Ms. Smith joined UTA from the Sydney office of Working Title Films where she was Head of Development. Prior to working in development and production she was the Australasian bureau chief of the Hollywood Reporter and the editor of Inside Film Magazine in Australia. Smith executive produced the David Michôd-directed independent feature Animal Kingdom, which won the 2010 Sundance Film Festival's Dramatic World Cinema Jury Prize. Smith currently serves on the Independent Filmmaker Project IFP Advisory Board.
John Polson is an award-winning actor and director, as well as the founder and director of the World's Largest Short Film Festival, Tropfest. As a feature film director, Mr. Polson has made Siam Sunset, Swimfan starring Jesse Bradford & Erica Christensen, Hide & Seek starring Robert De Niro & Dakota Fanning, and Tenderness starring Russell Crowe & Laura Dern. Mr. Polson has directed some of the top-rating US television series including Fringe, The Mentalist, The Good Wife, Lie To Me and Flash Forward.
Pauline Chan is an Australian-Chinese writer, director, actor and producer, best known for her feature film Traps and as director of the new Australian-Chinese co-production 33 Envelopes, starring Guy Pearce. Reviewed as a 'Premier Australian filmmaker' by Time Asia, Ms. Chan made Australian history in 1996 as the first Asian Australian appointed by the Governor General as a Commissioner of the Australian Film Commission. For more than 20 years, Ms. Chan has produced and directed films and television programs, many of which were selected for official screenings in prestigious festivals including Cannes, New York, Toronto, Shanghai, Sydney and London. In 2010 Ms. Chan served on the Selection Panel for the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund.