Hooray for China in Hollywood
Wang Jianlin’s cover portrait in The Hollywood Reporter says a lot about how far China has come in Tinseltown, according to the magazine’s editor.
“It is amazing the trajectory of the Chinese film industry in the last five years since we relaunched the magazine (The Hollywood Reporter) in 2010,” Matt Belloni, executive editor of The Hollywood Reporter, said in his opening remarks on Wednesday at the 2016 US China Film and TV Industry Expo.
“No one at that time would ever have said that the chairman of a Chinese real estate company would be on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter,” Belloni said.
The 2016 US China Film and TV Industry Expo is being held at the Regal Cinemas L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles and will run until Friday.
Jack Gao, vice-president and CEO of international investment and business development at the Wanda Cultural Industry Group, said on Wednesday that in many aspects China is “actually more advanced than Hollywood and is leading the trend of the film industry”.
Using China’s massive social media platform WeChat and many other internet-based commercial and communication tools, including Taobao, as examples, Gao said that Wanda is redefining marketing in the film industry.
China’s Hollywood investments also have benefited Los Angeles’ economy.
“This year, the collaboration between China and Hollywood has continued with more US films and co-production being shown in China, along with new Chinese blockbusters,” Kevin James, the Los Angeles mayor’s chief liaison for film and television production, said in a keynote speech on Thursday.
“The city of Los Angeles has brought back $3 billion in economic activity,” James said. “The mayor recently said that bringing international opportunities in films means jobs and new productions for our lifeblood, the entertainment industry. We would like to turn it into the entertainment capital of the world and would love to work with Chinese talents and Chinese film companies.”
“As China has become the second-largest entertainment marketplace in the world, the mystery and magic of China’s stories are reaching global audiences on a scale never seen before,” Bianca Chen, CEO of the expo, said on Wednesday.
The expo featured a red carpet and awards ceremony for the Golden Screen Awards on Thursday night. The awards were established this year to recognize US-China co-productions.
Miao Xiaotian, the general manager of the China Film Co-Production Corp, hosted a panel discussion on filmmaking and co-production in China on Thursday. It featured top executives from Lionsgate, 20th Century Fox, Le Vision Pictures USA, Phoenix Pictures and Alibaba Pictures.
Miao expressed the hope that US filmmakers learn the standards for co-production in China.
“It (a film) has to include Chinese content in an organic way. It cannot be just a scene in a Chinese city to shoot the film in,” Miao said.