More than 38,000 aspiring students are vying for 499 spots at China's major film academy, which opened this year's enrollment Wednesday.
The Beijing Film Academy said the number of contenders registered for its enrollment exam was 7,744 more than last year, a new record.
Acting courses are fiercely competitive as hopes of stardom and fortune lure many young actors to chase their dreams. More than 8,500 people will take the exam this year, and only one in every 114 will get a place.
The academy has 62 more places compared with 2016. It also opened four new majors, including radio and television directing, and arts in digital media, which immediately became popular.
Other prestigious art colleges providing talent for the film industry, such as the Central Academy of Drama, also opened for enrollment this week. The academy had a record high of 36,000 examinees, 4,000 more than 2016. One in every 246 will get a place in the drama and film performance class.
China's box office in 2016 reached 45.71 billion yuan (6.58 billion U.S. dollars), up 3.73 percent year on year, with 1.37 billion people going to the cinema.
Domestic films took 26.66 billion yuan, accounting for 58.33 percent of the total, while box office and sales revenue of domestic films in the overseas market reached 3.83 billion yuan, up 38.09 percent year on year.
Art colleges in China make their own tests for selecting talent, though the Ministry of Education requires them to reach a minimum academic standard, not lower than 65 percent of the minimum recruitment score for a mid-tier university.