Main­stream films given pri­or­ity

‘Peo­ple’s Cinema Line’ to high­light core so­cial­ist val­ues

Global Times - - Nation - By Liu Caiyu

Main­stream films in Chi­nese cin­e­mas will be given pri­or­ity with the cre­ation of a “Peo­ple’s Cinema Line,” which ex­perts said could al­ter China’s celebrity-fo­cused movie in­dus­try and bet­ter con­vey core so­cial­ist val­ues.

China’s me­dia reg­u­la­tor will choose 5,000 movie halls in the coun­try to form a “Peo­ple’s Cinema Line,” which will be used to screen main­stream-themed movies, news web­site thep­a­per.cn re­ported on Mon­day, cit­ing a doc­u­ment from the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Press, Pub­li­ca­tion, Ra­dio, Film, and Tele­vi­sion (SAPPRFT).

It will show main­stream movies dur­ing spe­cial events. It will be asked to of­fer fa­vor­able poli­cies to at­tract the pub­lic, such as group sales, dis­counts and bonuses.

“The ‘Peo­ple’s Cinema Line’ is part of the coun­try’s ef­forts to pro­mote do­mes­tic main­stream films, which have been marginal­ized by Hol­ly­wood pro­duc­tions and celebrity-led films in ex­tremely com­mer­cial­ized cin­e­mas,” Zhang Peng, a film re­searcher at the Na­tional Re­search Cen­ter of Cul­tural In­dus­tries of Nan­jing Uni­ver­sity, told the Global Times on Tues­day.

More sup­port to main­stream films will re­shape the chaotic ecol­ogy of China’s movie in­dus­try, a field that overem­pha­sizes celebrity-led scripts and high mar­ket­ing bud­gets, Zhang said.

“As an open artis­tic form, main­stream movies play a key role in lead­ing so­cial thought,” said Su Wei, a pro­fes­sor at the Com­mu­nist Party of China Chongqing Com­mit­tee’s Party School.

Main­stream films, which nor­mally por­tray the na­tion, re­form and his­tory, are meant to ed­u­cate peo­ple to spir­i­tu­ally think about the coun­try, Su told the Global Times.

The de­mand among the Chi­nese to watch main­stream films that pro­mote China’s core so­cial­ist val­ues with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics, such as pa­tri­o­tism, free­dom and equal­ity, is high, he said.

The 5,000 movie halls un­der the “Peo­ple’s Cinema Line” will be se­lected from China’s 50,000 cin­e­mas. Cin­e­mas which are in­flu­en­tial, af­fil­i­ated with cinema man­age­ment com­pa­nies and have no vi­o­la­tion records will be give pri­or­ity.

The seat­ing ca­pac­ity in the cho­sen halls should not be lower than 100, ac­cord­ing to the SAPPRFT state­ment.

The num­ber of movie halls in each prov­ince and city will be pro­por­tion­ately cho­sen. Guang­dong Prov­ince will have the most film halls at 594, Jiangsu Prov­ince, 437, and the Ti­bet Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion will have the least at 5.

With strong screen­plays and na­tional-level sup­port, main­stream films are ca­pa­ble of be­com­ing box of­fice hits, Zhang added.

In 2017, do­mes­tic-made films raked in 30 bil­lion yuan ($4.7 bil­lion), ac­cord­ing to the SAPPRFT.

As of Novem­ber China’s 2017 box of­fice ex­ceeded 50 bil­lion yuan, the first time the coun­try has bro­ken the 50-bil­lion-yuan mark.

Dur­ing this year’s Spring Fes­ti­val, five ma­jor do­mes­ti­cally-pro­duced films, such as the pa­tri­otic-themed Op­er­a­tion Red Sea, are ex­pected to be screened.

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