Reaching for the stars

Updated: 2013-02-27 09:02

By Liu Wei and Han Bingbin (China Daily)

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Reaching for the stars

For many Chinese youngsters, the road to fame usually starts from a prestigious acting school like the Beijing Film Academy. Photos by Zou Hong / China Daily

For aspiring actors and the schools they hope will launch them, spring is a season of infinite hope, Liu Wei and Han Bingbin report.

"Where the Chinese and the world's dreams begin." That is boldly blazed on a banner outside the main building of the Beijing Film Academy, one of China's most prestigious colleges for performing arts. That may sound like an overstatement to some, but others find a common note. The college is now recruiting students for the new semester, and there is no lack of eager applicants. Acting has always been the most popular major - only 75 of 4,569 applicants will get in - and all hope to follow star graduates like Zhao Wei and Xu Jinglei.

The competition in another major college for performing arts, the Central Academy of Drama, is no less fierce. About 9,000 aspirants applied to enter the acting faculty; only 50 will win a place.

Entering such schools fits many of the criteria of dreams: glamorous, mysterious and tough to achieve. The competition even starts before the real tests begin.

Most of China's colleges for performing arts start their recruitment (yikao in Chinese) around February, four months before the entrance exams at most universities.

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