The 8th Theme

 Security and Trust 
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Foreword from CNEX


Starting from this year, there will be some important adjustments in CNEX’s theme of year.

The original mission of CNEX, apart from supporting and funding the production and promotion of independent Chinese documentaries, also includes to “propel thinking with images and propel images with thinking” through the theme of the year and to push forward discussion, communication, and even debates on the theme with these non-fiction images.


From our early years, we realized that, to fulfill this mission, we have to accumulate achievements, gather social resources, and obtain a certain amount of credibility. Therefore, in our first seven years, we focused more on the production, marketing, and distribution of the films and less on how these films can trigger attention and discussion through the theme of the year.


Now, thanks to the participation and support of friends and mentors from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and overseas, CNEX has harvested a number of achievements. We think it’s time to fulfill our original mission!


Therefore, starting from this year’s theme, we will implement a series of new practices and systems, mainly consisting of three points:

1. Establish CNEX Editorial Board, enhance the depth and strength of the consultants’ participation, and enable them to have more influence on the composition of the theme of the year, promotion of results, and even social impact.

2. Increase funding for each film, decrease the number of selections.

3. Apart from selecting proposals, we will take the initiative to look for subjects and invite filmmakers according to the theme of the year, in order to structure a relatively complete jigsaw of the theme of the year.


We hope that, through these methods, we will be able to improve the overall quality of the projects, while these films, as a whole, can carry forward the social impact of the theme of the year in a more effective way.


In the meantime, we hope this reform will lay a better foundation for CNEX’s teen years. We look forward to seeing and hearing you in the future!



1. Proposal specs: 

- Project must address the theme “Security and Trust”

- Final project running time must be 45 minutes or longer

- Must shoot project on HDV or higher quality, sound must be recorded with external mic. (In order to meet current distribution channel standards, we encourage filmmakers shoot in 1920x1080i)

- If selected, final project delivery format must be in high quality or high-resolution native files.

- Project delivery: Rough cut: 11/30/2014 | Final cut: 4/30/2015

2. Eligibility

- Director:Must have directed at least one 45-minute or longer documentary film, have had other filmmaking experiences

- Producer:Must have produced at least one 45-minute or longer documentary film, have had other filmmaking experiences

3. Selection process

- 12 to 15 projects will be selected to pitch; 

- At the pitching workshop, 3 projects will be selected as recipients of funding from CNEX and 2 projects will be selected as alternatives (to fill vacancies if the selected projects cannot implement the contracts)

- The selected projects, upon selection, will sign letters of intent with CNEX. The alternative projects will sign the letters after revision and modification based on suggestions from the panel of final review workshop.


1. SEED MONEY: CNEX will provide seed money to the selected projects up to 200,000 RMB or 1,000,000 NTD

2. CNEX Editorial Board:the selected projects will be incorporated into the operation framework of CNEX Editorial Board, which includes

a. CNEX invites industry veterans and professionals to provide guidance and mentorship throughout the production of the selected projects.

b. CNEX invites experts who will have impacts in promoting theme of the year and the film projects to serve as marketing advisors, to plan and push the marketing and distribution of the films as well as raising awareness of the theme of the year.

c. Under the operation framework of the Editorial Board, each individual film will be organized under the theme of the year in an judicious way to form a film matrix that will showcase all the important aspects of theme of the year.

Previous consultants include: WANG Shau-di, WANG Shuibo, WANG Yae-wei, SITU Zhaodun, NING Ying, LEE Daw-ming, LU Xin-yu, CHEN Hong, CHAN Koon-chung, CHEN Hao, Ruby YANG, Sylvia CHANG, ZHANG Xianming, LIN Xudong, Rachel ZEN, HSU Hsiao-ming, HAN Lei, DAI Jinhua

3. EDITING WORKSHOP: Depending on project completion and international distribution potential, CNEX will select certain films to participate in our Editing Workshop.

CNEX will provide one-on-one editing consultation with renowned editors in order to advance story telling, solidify unique perspectives, and increase distribution potential.

Editing consultants include: LIAO Ching-sung, Jean TSIEN, Gigi WONG, Mary STEPHEN, CHEN Po-wen

4. CCDF (CNEX Chinese Doc Forum): CNEX may select films with international marketability to participate in the fourth CCDF, to be held in Taipei in September, 2013.

Modeled after international documentary pitching forums, CCDF is a documentary market platform where filmmakers have the opportunity to connect with international funders, commissioning editors and distributors. Industry professionals have included representatives from: Sundance (USA), ITVS, Sunny Side of the Docs (France), BBC (UK), Arte (France), Good Pitch(USA/UK), NDR/ARD (Germany), DR TV (Denmark), NHK (Japan), Discovery (Asia), National Geographic (Asia), Phoenix TV (HK), Sun TV (HK), RTHK (HK), PTS (Taiwan), Want Want China Times (Taiwan), SMG (China), and CCTV (China). 

5. CNEX STUDIO: Projects with international appeal and a higher project budget may be invited to join CNEX Studio.

CNEX Studio will attach a dedicated producer to create a tailored production strategy in order to attract international interest. CNEX Studio films have already received funding support from Sundance and IDFA.


- Completed films will automatically be entered into the annual CNEX Thematic Film Festival

- CNEX will enter completed films into various international film festivals

- Completed films will participate in CNEX’s Campus Tours throughout China, HK and Taiwan

- Completed films will receive DVD sales and distribution through CNEX support


Q: In addition to the “eligibility requirements” mentioned above, do you have other requirements?

A: We expect applicants to have certain amount of professionalism. Listed below are qualities that will receive higher ranking (but are not mandatory): 

1. Dedicated to the completion of project, possess professionalism and credibility

2. Have a deep understanding of theme of the year and how the project addresses the theme

3. Able to recognize and explain: how the project can act as an organic part of the theme of the year while being able to compose an independent chapter

4. Possess open vision and personality, willing to absorb suggestions from the advisors and ruminate over the advice from CNEX Editorial Board

5. Knows how to narrate a story, event, argument, or scene with clarity

6. Recognizes and expects social impact from the film project

7. Previously works have participated or received awards in national or international film festival

Q: In addition to complying with the annual theme, are there other expectations on the project?


1. We want to see a unique creative vision, an ability of the director to convey his/her own aesthetics to the subject, not just simply documentation or description of event. 

2. We want the project to explore social issues that can bring about dialogue and inspire change.

3. We want to see footage from the project that can showcase the filmmaker’s creative vision.

4. Filmmakers should have solid grasp and have researched the topic thoroughly in order to provide a unique and clear perspective on the subject matter, including whether there are others films on similar topics and what the advantages of their proposals are. (if applicable, please explain)

Q: If my total budget is on the higher end, can I still submit?

A:Yes, however, budget must be comparable to industry standards and within reason. Budgeting will be part of the consideration process.



- Fill out online entry form and submit complete proposal. (See the end of entry form for proposal requirements. Submit proposal with entry form. Do Not Mail)

- First time applicants to CNEX Thematic CFE must provide one to two previously completed works (PCW). Email link to PCW to [email protected] or email DVDs to CNEX Beijing Office: 2 floor, Building NO1. Jing Yuan, No.3 Guangqu East Rd, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100022, P.R. China). Applicants from Taiwan or Hong Kong please mail to CNEX Taipei or CNEX Hong Kong. Please see CONTACT for addresses.


- If selected for PITCHING round, applicant must attend live pitching with audio/visual presentation. We recommend PowerPoint for the presentation.

- Applicant must be able to concisely and persuasively articulate the project’s vision/story. Pitching performance will factor greatly into final decision for funding/support.

Starting from this year, time for presentation and questions will be extended to 40 minutes comprising two parts:

1) Presentation of the production process, theme, and impact of one of the applicants’ previous works (10min presentation + 5min Q&A)

2) Presentation of the proposal and production plan (15min presentation + 10min Q&A))


- Online entry form + proposal deadline: 20th June 2013

- Proposals selected for live Pitching will be announced on CNEX's website on 20th June 2013

- Final Review Panel: 7th to 10th August, 2013 in Beijing. Selected applicants will be notified.


- In order to maximize promotion, and manage all sales and distribution, CNEX will hold the rights to the selected projects.


- General questions: [email protected]

- CNEX Beijing Office: 2 floor, Building NO1. Jing Yuan, No.3 Guangqu East Rd, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100022, P.R. China




Contact: Zhiwei Feng

- CNEX Taipei Office: 11F., No. 63, Sec. 1, Hangzhou S. Road, Taipei City 10054, Taiwan




Contact: Nina Lai

- CNEX Hong Kong Office: Room 1601-1603, SOLO, 83 Bedford Road, Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong.




Contact: Ada Li


*Please check website for updates and changes to rules. Notifications and updates will not be sent out separately.