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January 8, 2010

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Spy flick in Shanghai

A Spy movie set in modern Shanghai is one of five pitch finalists in the People's Choice Awards, an American-based international poll of films that fans (not critics) award.

Voting to determine the winner is underway at in the People's Choice Awards Favorite Film Pitch Contest. The winning pitch will be made into a feature film this year.

The deadline for votes is January 20, midnight EST.

Winners will be announced the next day.

The proposed film "Father John" is a contemporary film-noir spy drama set in nighttime Shanghai. The main character is John, a London-based spy who is sent to Shanghai after his cover is blown, only to encounter more danger and international intrigue.

The executive producer, David Minnihan, is American.

The four other competing film pitches area "The Devil of Appalachia," "All the Queen's Men," "Forger" and "The Mechanics."

Minnihan says he was thrilled. "Going into the contest, I didn't have any expectations. I just gave my pitch and tried to show our project in its best light. I'm pretty excited that we got to this level, especially for the recognition it will bring to our film.

"I think our international story and gripping drama will appeal to people all over the world," he says.

The film, if it is made, will include many Shanghai scenes and landmarks, including popular pubs. Veteran local actors will be cast.

The film pitch contest held last November is a collaboration between the People's Choice Awards (PCA) and the eight-day American Film Market (AFM). Professionals pitched their films on video during the event.

Afterward, AFM tapped industry leaders to select five finalists.

Their pitches are posted on, the official PCA Website, where voting is underway.

"Now, for the first time, fans will also have an influential voice in deciding what films get produced," says PCA President Fred Nelson.

"This is a very exciting development that takes our brand, pop culture, and user-generated video to an entirely new level."


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