HK teenage screenwriter makes Hollywood debut

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West All-Star Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets takes part in the NBA Skills competition during the NBA basketball All-Star weekend in Houston, Texas, February 16, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

Jeremy Lin has made history again. This time, the name does not refer to the basketball player from Harvard University, but a Hong Kong teenager whose script will be made into a Hollywood movie.

It is a story of two Jeremy Lins. NBA basketball player Lin does not know this 16-year-old screenwriter Lin, but the player's name did help the younger Lin get attention from Hollywood producers in the first place.

The younger Lin became interested in screenwriting after Fabienne Wen, a Los Angeles-based screenwriter and film investor, encouraged students to write their own movie scripts during a visit to Lin's school in Hong Kong.

"When I sent Fabienne my script a couple of months ago, she opened my email immediately because she thought I was the basketball player! So thank you Jeremy Lin for helping me get her attention!" Lin told reporters.

But once Wen opened the e-mail, it was not the name of the NBA player but the story itself that attracted her. She loved Lin's idea of a coming-of-age comedy that surrounds five high school students waiting till the last weekend of school to finish their senior project.

It is a Breakfast Club-meets-Superbad comedy that looks at the struggles high school students face -- friendships falling apart, sexual orientation, impending graduation and what's next for them. It is a storyline that people can all relate to, from Hong Kong to American high school students.

Lin's script also grabbed the attention of Angel Gracia, director of the 2011 romantic comedy From Prada to Nada. Gracia is set to direct Senior Project, the name of the movie scripted by Lin.

Brion Hambel and Paul Jenson, who produced the 2011 comedy Natural Selection, are attached as producers.

The movie, Senior Project, may well make Lin one of the world's youngest screenwriters. Lin's success has inspired more young people to dream in Hollywood.

"If a teenager from Hong Kong can get his movie made in Hollywood, maybe there's hope for the rest of us," Camilla Grove, an aspiring screenwriter and recent college graduate, wrote in her blog.

"Most aspiring screenwriters never get the chance to see their stories played out on the silver screen. As a young screenwriter hopeful myself, this fact alone scares me half to death," wrote Grove.

"As a recent college graduate trying to make it in Hollywood as a writer, I was inspired by Jeremy Lin's ambition and drive at 16. I immediately wanted to root for him and see his film get made," Grove continued.

Even with the name, the film still needs help in getting to that "Hollywood level." Lin and his team have launched a campaign under Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects, to boost the film's 750,000-dollar budget.

Now Lin has reached his goal and will join the team in Los Angeles for filming of his new movie next month.


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