Global stage beckons for Hong Kong's teenage film writer

Student wowed Hollywood with script; now he hopes for global release

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 June, 2014, 3:03am
UPDATED : Monday, 09 June, 2014, 3:05pm

The makers of an independent film written by a Hong Kong teenager are hoping for a global distribution deal following a rapturous reception at the movie's local premiere.

The makers of Senior Project, written by the 17-year-old Jeremy Lin Chong-rang, say they are in talks with distributors to release the film internationally, though they are also considering uploading the HK$4 million work straight onto YouTube so that "anyone can watch wherever and whenever" in the hope of inspiring more young screenwriters.

Audiences roared with laughter and wolf-whistles filled the air during the premiere of the teen-comedy at the University of Hong Kong on Friday night.

Afterwards, Lin said he had survived the test but admitted the fear and nerves had brought on "many sleepless nights" beforehand and that he was "full of insecurities all over the place".

"I want to write more movie screenplays, definitely," said Lin, adding that he was looking at possible collaborations.

Last year, Lin wowed Hollywood after pitching his idea to Los Angeles-based screenwriter and investor Fabienne Wen Pao-kuen during a film workshop.

A production company backed by Wen took on the script and enlisted a star cast including the Korean-American comedienne Margaret Cho and Disney stars Meaghan Martin and Kyle Massey.

Canto-pop star Alan Tam Wing-lun also backed Lin's efforts and joined as executive producer.

The budget for the film, which revolves around the growing pains of six students in high school, was boosted after the script attracted US$258,000 in donations on the Kickstarter fundraising website.

Lin said the final cut was "completely different to what I had in mind".

"It was a complete shock but I loved it," the Li Po Chun United World College student said of the experience.

Producer Stephane Gauger said he would "go through the normal channels of distribution and figure out the best way to get the film released to [a global] audience".

He added that Lin was "living the dream".

"It is very rare for something like that to come out of a kid's brain and be translated into a mainstream movie, and it happened to him."