Source AP ©

US film group awards Chinese student a trip to Hollywood

A U.S. industry group awarded a Chinese college student a trip to Hollywood for his short film denouncing movie piracy - the latest effort by American movie executives to stamp out China's thriving trade in fake DVDs.

The one-minute video short by Liang Jinwei, 21, a broadcasting student from south China's Guangxi University for Ethnic Minorities, showed elementary kids in class learning that piracy is just like stealing money or a bike.

"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) disks," said Mike Ellis, regional director for the Motion Picture Association, at the award ceremony in Beijing.

The competition was part of the 14th Beijing Student Film Festival.

A jury including Chinese filmmaker Feng Xiaogang and officials from China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and the China Film Copyright Protection Association picked the movie from about 100 submissions, Ellis said.

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

China is one of the world's leading producers of unlicensed copies of goods ranging from movies and designer clothes to sporting goods and medications. The government has launched repeated crackdowns, but pirated DVDs are widely available.

The MPA says 93 percent of DVDs sold in China are unlicensed copies.

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