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Application key to Oscar celebration

By Eric Jou (China Daily)

08:46, March 01, 2013

The iPhone's vintage camera app recreates the 8mm film effect. It was used for filming the award-winning documentary, Searching for Sugarman. (China Daily/Kuang Linhua)

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Chi Hongyu always had a fascination with film, so much so that when he finished his studies he created a technology company that made film applications for the iPhone. Little did Chi know that his app would help a filmmaker reach gold - Oscar gold.

Chi, 41, the CEO of Nexvio Inc, specializes in making video and photography applications for the iPhone and iPad. Based in Seattle, Nexvio's 8mm Vintage Camera was released on the iOS app store in 2011. Back then, Chi was confident the app would be a success.

"We were always confident in that our app was made with quality and the user experience in mind," says Chi, who is from Changchun, Jilin province. "Our app was used by many filmmakers making music videos and shorts."

Yet, while confident in his app, Chi was completely unaware the program was used during the filming of the Academy Award-winning documentary, Searching for Sugarman.

According to an interview with CNN, the Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul was filming his documentary about the story of Detroit musician Sixto Rodriguez. Partway through filming, Bendjelloul ran out of funding and 8 mm film. Not willing to let his work go to waste, Bendjelloul said he found Chi's $1.99 app on Appstore and proceed to shoot the rest of his movie with his iPhone.

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