DocuChina TV, for­eign stu­dios to col­lab­o­rate

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG KUN in Shang­hai


China not only per­mits, but also en­cour­ages for­eign com­pa­nies to team up with Chi­nese to pro­duce doc­u­men­taries about China, said Gao Changli, an of­fi­cial with the coun­try’s ad­min­is­tra­tion for TV and film in­dus­tries.

Gao is head of the pub­lic­ity depart­ment with China’s State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Press, Pub­li­ca­tion, Ra­dio, Film and TV. He was in Shang­hai on June 11 for the launch of Yunji Media, a pro­duc­tion com­pany that pro­duces doc­u­men­taries for the DocuChina chan­nel of Shang­hai Media Group (SMG). The cer­e­mony was part of the 21st Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional TV Fes­ti­val, an an­nual event fol­lowed by the Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val.

DocuChina also an­nounced five on­go­ing projects be­tween the chan­nel and for­eign TV com­pa­nies on June 11. These heavy­weight col­lab­o­ra­tion projects with for­eign com­pa­nies will cost a to­tal of 160 mil­lion yuan ($25.8 mil­lion) to make.

The five doc­u­men­taries are: Coast China, to be pro­duced in col­lab­o­ra­tion with BBC World­wide, Celebri­ties vs. Wild, with Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel, Su­per Asia with KBS TV from South Korea, De­sire for Food, with MBC, a TV com­pany from South Korea, and China by Your Side with A+E Net­works of the United States.

DocuChina is the first TV chan­nel in the coun­try to air only doc­u­men­taries. It was founded by SMG nine years ago, and since 2014, has be­come a satel­lite chan­nel, cov­er­ing an au­di­ence base of 400 mil­lion.

David Wei­land, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent Asia for BBC World­wide, said that BBC has col­lab­o­rated with SMG quite a few times in the past, and the new doc­u­men­tary Coast China will be by far the most im­por­tant and ex­pen­sive to make.

Celebri­ties vs. Wild will be the first to go on air later this year on Dragon TV, also an SMG satel­lite chan­nel. This is a re­al­ity show about sur­vival skills.

Bear Grylls and the lon­grun­ning show Man vs. Wild has had a solid view­er­ship base in China through the past few years. This, to­gether with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of China’s own celebri­ties, makes the show Celebri­ties vs. Wild “zero chance for fail­ure”, said artis­tic di­rec­tor of DocuChina, Chen Liang.

The show will be pro­duced largely by the orig­i­nal team of Man vs. Wild fea­tur­ing “the most risky shoot­ing process, and great­est safety as­sur­ance”, Chen said.

The launch of Yunji Media means a fun­da­men­tal step for­ward in the sep­a­ra­tion be­tween the broad­cast­ing and pro­duc­tion of TV shows in China, said Gao. He went on to praise DocuChina for its dar­ing cre­ativ­ity and out­stand­ing achieve­ments, es­pe­cially since the chan­nel launched na­tion­wide last year.

China’s doc­u­men­tary in­dus­try has been grow­ing by 30 per­cent ev­ery year, Gao said. “It is an in­dus­try of ex­pan­sive prospect.”

Doc­u­men­taries played not only on TV but also on the In­ter­net have gained greater au­di­ence num­bers in China.

“Many for­eign friends are cu­ri­ous about the or­di­nary peo­ple’s life in China,” Gao said. “These five projects will be good ex­am­ples of telling Chi­nese sto­ries to au­di­ences world­wide.”

a re­al­ity sur­vival show jointly pro­duced by Shang­hai Media Group and Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel, will be broad­cast in China later this year.

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