VISUAL TREAT FOR NATURE LOVERS
young entrepreneur he met during a visit to Antarctica helped him.
The film then received recognition in theWest and even received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Nature Programming in July, but Xi’s struggle for financing continues.
“I want to make a Chinese version of the film, but we’re short of money… You are asking about screening it in theaters in China? I don’t dare to think about it. We cannot afford that,” says Xi.
Theater screenings typically need a considerable budget for promotion and distribution.
But, despite these setbacks, there seems to be hope for the nature-film genre and it seems that viewers will not be deterred even by high prices.
At the recent festival, tickets were priced at 119 yuan per person, almost double what you would pay for a regular film online. But most of the seats were sold out, according to the ticket-sale agency Gewara.com.
Meanwhile, star power is used to promote the festival and to push the conservation message.
Hong Kong singer-actress Karen Mok teamed up with top music producer Zhang Yadong to drum up publicity for the festival in downtown Beijing.
“I believe today no one will starve if they do not eat a wild animal, and neither will they freeze and die if they don’t wear animal fur,” saysMok.
The star began to take part in nature and wildlife conservation campaigns after she read a report about “bile bears” — which are kept in captivity to harvest their bile — more than 10 years ago.
She hopes her campaigns will boost public awareness about protecting nature and wildlife, while Zhang hopes the government will extend even more support than it does now when it comes to environmental protection.
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Xi Zhinong, wildlife photographer