Fan Feifei

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - Con­tact the writer at fan­feifei@chi­

to in­vest and make films. Our film mar­ket will be­come the world’s largest box of­fice mar­ket in the next three years.”

Huang noted that there are chal­lenges, such as dis­tri­bu­tion, to over­come.

“Each link of the Chi­nese film mar­ket is very weak,” he said. “We have hun­dreds of dis­tri­bu­tion com­pa­nies, but none of them could com­pete with one of the ‘big six’ in Hol­ly­wood, not to men­tion dis­tribut­ing our films over­seas. So what we now fo­cus on is to make the lo­cal mar­ket big­ger and stronger.”

The “big six” film stu­dios of Hol­ly­wood are 20th Cen­tury Fox, Warner Broth­ers, Para­mount, Columbia, Uni­ver­sal and Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios.

Huang pointed out that the Chi­nese film mar­ket has a huge po­ten­tial for growth and cited the South Korean film mar­ket as an ex­am­ple. He said it is small, but it re­leases nearly 1,000 films each year, while in sharp con­trast, China re­leases about 200 do­mes­tic films per year.

“We should de­velop the do­mes­tic film mar­ket be­fore the in­ter­na­tional,” he said.

Data from the last few years show that do­mes­tic films en­joy a larger share of the mar­ket, more than im­ported ones, and the works that re­flect the coun­try’s own cul­ture and life­style are more popular, said Amy Liu, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of Ent­group, a do­mes­tic film re­search firm.

“More­over, a key is­sue we should note is the pop­u­lar­ity of the In­ter­net in China, which is a good op­por­tu­nity for China to break­out and sur­pass the US, and it is a fact that more and more young au­di­ences like watch­ing films at home,” added Huang.

Ye Ning, the vice-pres­i­dent of Wanda Cul­tural Group, said: “We all agree that China will have the world’s big­gest film mar­ket in the next sev­eral years. Each film­maker should quickly find their ori­en­ta­tion and lo­ca­tion. And it is of great im­por­tance that each par­tic­i­pant needs to love, take root in and un­der­stand the Chi­nese film mar­ket.”

How­ever, what the Chi­nese film in­dus­try lacks is the industrial logic, in­clud­ing ini­tial ex­ploita­tion, pro­duc­tion and later dis­tri­bu­tion, Ye pointed out.

“Our film in­dus­try is still at an early stage, which is like a baby. Chi­nese film­mak­ers should keep calm, not get con­ceited and ar­ro­gant, mak­ing ef­forts to set our own script, shot, tech­nol­ogy sys­tem and a chan­nel to com­mu­ni­cate and res­onate with lo­cal au­di­ences.”

Ye added that the Chi­nese film in­dus­try has much to learn, step by step.

“Our com­pany is now mak­ing The Ghouls, a thriller. We have a ma­ture team and grasp ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy, but we still meet un­ex­pected prob­lems in the process of film­ing,” he said. “We wel­come for­eign film­mak­ers to come to China and work with us to cre­ate a great story. It is now the right time and op­por­tu­nity for both of us.”

Miao Xiao­tian, pres­i­dent of China Film Co-Pro­duc­tion Corp, said: “China has pro­duced more than 600 films each year, we need more young film­mak­ers. How­ever, we still need to im­prove in the field of cre­ativ­ity, the devel­op­ment and ap­pli­ca­tion of high-tech in the film, the ex­ploita­tion and sales of de­riv­a­tive prod­ucts. And it is nec­es­sary to en­hance the in­ter­na­tional com­pet­i­tive­ness of Chi­nese films.”

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Ent­Group in Jan­uary, the big­gest threat to China’s film in­dus­try is not Hol­ly­wood block­busters, but what do­mes­tic film­mak­ers need to do is to im­prove their own qual­ity, par­tic­u­larly mak­ing more “high­con­cept” films.

The “high-con­cept” movie is the con­cep­tual prod­uct of movie in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion and com­mer­cial­iza­tion, un­der the back­ground of grad­ual ma­tur­ing of the film in­dus­try by means of small and medium-sized in­vest­ment and big mar­ket­ing to max­i­mize the in­ter­ests of film­mak­ing.

Launched in 2006 by the Mo­tion Pic­ture As­so­ci­a­tion, the MPA Film Work­shop has be­come a bridge con­nect­ing young Chi­nese film­mak­ers with the rest of the world, and the se­lected win­ners will go to the “big six” in the US to learn films sys­tem­at­i­cally and have an op­por­tu­nity to in­tro­duce their film projects to Hol­ly­wood film com­pa­nies.

How­ever, when Chi­nese films try to at­tract more in­ter­na­tional au­di­ences, they face many prob­lems and chal­lenges, ac­cord­ing to ex­perts.

An is­sue hin­der­ing the Chi­nese films “go­ing-out” is lan­guage. An­dre Mor­gan, a Hol­ly­wood film­maker and pres­i­dent of the Ruddy Mor­gan Or­ga­ni­za­tion, a film and tele­vi­sion en­ter­tain­ment com­pany in the US, said at the mo­ment the rest of the world is still quite ea­ger for Chi­nese cul­ture and his­tory, so there will be au­di­ences to see Chi­nese films, but the lan­guage is a big prob­lem.

“English is the in­ter­na­tional lan­guage of film. The sin­gle big­gest chal­lenge for the Chi­nese film in­dus­try is we build up the do­mes­tic in­dus­try where peo­ple speak Chi­nese, they act in Chi­nese and they think in Chi­nese, but there are not many peo­ple in the rest of world who can ac­cess the Chi­nese lan­guage quickly. That is the big dis­ad­van­tage when we talk about go­ing to the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket,” Mor­gan said.

Mor­gan also sug­gested film­mak­ers should pay at­ten­tion to and sat­isfy the taste and con­sump­tion habits of young peo­ple. More­over, there should be abun­dant ex­pe­ri­enced pro­duc­ers to guide young Chi­nese film­mak­ers, help­ing them to find a bal­ance be­tween cre­ation, mar­ket­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion.

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