maja bodenstein writer

Maja is a London-based freelance screenwriter who grew up in Hong Kong. She graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2007 with a BA in film studies and performing arts and completed Royal Holloway’s feature film screenwriting masters with distinction in 2009. She was consequently short-listed for the David Lean award and awarded a special commendation for her feature script ‘The Arches’ (an early draft of 'Fox Spirit’), based on its “freshness of vision and ambition”. Later that year she was selected to be a part of the Athena Screenwriters Lab 2009, a business course aimed at 12 women screenwriters seeking a development contract for their feature script. In 2010, she was one of 16 European writers under 36 who were selected to participate in the Pugliaexperience, a travelling audiovisual story workshop organised by the Apulia Film Commission. In 2015, her feature projects 'Fox Spirit’ and 'The River Dragon Princess’ were selected for co-production project labs Ties That Bind and Bridging the Dragon, respectively.

Her MA feature script Fox Spirit was selected for Sino-European co-production lab Ties That Bind 2015. It received a special commendation from the David Lean Foundation in 2009 and was shortlisted for the Singapore MDA International Film Fund in 2010. Her family feature proposal “The Princess and the Amoy Tiger” was shortlisted for iFeatures 2014. It is now being developed as “The River Dragon Princess” with Christopher Granier-Deferre/Poisson Rouge Pictures and was selected for Sino-European content lab Bridging the Dragon in 2015.

Maja is of German/Chinese ancestry and invested in exploring themes of identity, race and culture through a variety of genres. She is inspired by folklore and fairytale, as well as poetry, art and history.

As well as being fluent in English, she is a native speaker of German and Mandarin. She writes mainly in English.


Current projects in development include “Detective Zeke and the Jade Tablets of Destiny” (also with Christopher Granier-Deferre/Poisson Rouge Pictures), a fantastical action adventure set in 1920s London. The story follows a Chinese detective as he competes against his con woman lover and rival in a race against time, to stop a set of Taoist artifacts from falling into the wrong hands and destroying the world.

She is also working on a "The Great Seaweed Heist", a female-led, comedic caper set during the short-lived Victorian seaweed-collecting craze - tonally a mixture of The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Handmaiden.

Her first novel, "The Fox Spirit", is set in fantasy medieval China and follows an ex-soldier-turned-Buddhist monk's quest for redemption by hunting down a fox spirit in the Imperial Palace of the first woman Emperor.


e-mail :

skype: maja.bodenstein

wechat: hkmaja


cover image: catberry photography

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