To show Xian Xing­hai’s tough Soviet years

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE -

Shen says he re­gards it his re­spon­si­bil­ity to let peo­ple know about Xian’s story.

Xian was sent by the Com­mu­nist Party of China to the for­mer Soviet Union to com­pose scores for a documentary ti­tled Yan’an and the Eighth Route Army, which was about the CPC rev­o­lu­tion­ary base fight­ing the Ja­panese in­va­sion of China.

To cover his real iden­tity in Kaza­khstan, the mu­si­cian used an alias. So when he was har­bored by a lo­cal mu­si­cian, the lat­ter didn’t know whom he had res­cued from star­va­tion. Dur­ing that time, Xian com­posed sev­eral fa­mous mu­si­cal works.

“A key to in­ter­na­tional co­pro­duc­tions is to tell a story that ap­peals to dif­fer­ent mar­kets,” says Shen, 51.

Shen be­gan his tele­vi­sion ca­reer in 2000 when he found­edWorld Film Re­port, a pop­u­lar weekly pro­gram aired on movie chan­nel CCTV 6. Over the past 16 years, the show has pro­duced around 2,000 episodes, fea­tur­ing in­ter­views with more than 3,000 film­mak­ers in some 80 coun­tries across the world.

“In a sense, we’ve found a niche. Big stu­dios mainly fo­cus on do­mes­tic mar­kets, and small firms strug­gle with cul­tural and lin­guis­tic bar­ri­ers when col­lab­o­rat­ing with for­eign­ers,” he says.

Shen says that Chi­nese film­mak­ers should go abroad to seek more op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Hol­ly­wood gets most of its rev­enue from over­seas mar­kets, but China — de­spite be­ing the world’s sec­ond-largest movie mar­ket — ob­tains al­most all its movie in­dus­try’s rev­enue from do­mes­tic box-of­fice re­ceipts, he says.

At the re­cently con­cluded 3rd Xi’an Silk Road In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, Shinework Pic­tures re­leased a plan of it­sup­com­ing­co­pro­duc­tions.

For Com­poser, which is still hav­ing its script re­vised, the plan is to start film­ing by the end of this year. It will be re­leased next year. Sev­eral A-lis­ters are in ne­go­ti­a­tions to star in the movie.

An­other ti­tle that Shen’s com­pany is work­ing on is the live-ac­tion fea­ture Mon­key Mas­ter, a su­per­hero rooted in Chi­nese and In­dian myths. Mar­vel Comics icon Stan Lee and his Pow! En­ter­tain­ment are now work­ing on the pro­tag­o­nist’s role and sets, ac­cord­ing to Daljit Par­mar, vice-pres­i­dent of in­ter­na­tional co­pro­duc­tions for Shinework.

“Lee has made so many glob­ally known char­ac­ters from Spi­der-Man to Iron Man, but those char­ac­ters were re­ally de­vel­oped for theNorthAmer­i­can mar­ket,” says Par­mar.

“We want a home­grown su­per­hero with cul­tural li­ai­son and ap­peal to the Chi­nese. Mon­key Mas­ter will be the first Chi­nese su­per­hero to be in­ter­na­tion­ally de­vel­oped for the do­mes­tic mar­ket.”

High­lights of Shinework’s up­com­ing co­pro­duc­tions also have the ac­tion com­e­dyWay to Shaolin, the first Sino-Ira­nian pro­duc­tion in­spired by the true sto­ryof the Ira­ni­an­mar­tial arts teacherMa­soud Ja­fari.

Re­call­ing his sur­prise to find Ira­nian young­sters in­ter­ested in Chi­nese ac­tion films, Shen says, he hopes the movie can help Chi­nese film­mak­ers en­ter into the Ira­nian mar­ket.

Kung FuYoga, star­ring Jackie Chan, is a Sino-In­dian pro­duc­tion that was ini­tially de­vel­oped by Shinework. Shen says the di­rec­to­rial work of Stan­ley Tong will be re­leased dur­ing the Spring Fes­ti­val in 2017.


A wax sculp­ture of com­poser Xian Xing­hai is dis­played at the Na­tional Mu­seum of China in Bei­jing.

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