Zhang Yimou denies part in Railway promo

By Guo Jiali
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, July 3, 2012
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 A poster of Chinese Railways [file photo]

A costly five-minute China Railways advert recently became a target of public criticism after its original release two years ago, according to a report by Zhengzhou Evening Newspaper on July, 2.

Zhang Yimou’s name, one of China’s best-known directors, could be clearly seen in the end credits of the costly five-minute promo film. However, only very few had noticed this before as it wasn’t until recently that the film came into the spotlight as an example of one of the irregularities of the Ministry of Railways.

The National Audit Office stated in its 2011 annual report that the Ministry of Railways had splurged out 18.5 million yuan (US$2.9 million) on a five-minute promotional video in 2010 , but the film had failed to meet expectations.

Many viewers had their doubts regarding the actual investment that went into this promo video, which cost over 61,600 (US $9,700) per second. Insiders claimed the film’s quality was disappointing and could hardly compare to any other works directed by Zhang Yimou.

Zhang Yimou’s assistant Pang Liwei clarified on July 2: “Director Zhang Yimou agreed to give some suggestions on the sample. He did not, however, agree to act as director of the film or to be credited as such.”

“We did not see the final cut until one day in 2011 I was told by a friend that Zhang Yimou’s name was written clearly as director in the film credits. After Zhang’s inquiry about this at the production company, the Ministry of Railways promised to take his name off the credits as soon as possible. To our disappointment, they didn’t keep their promise, ” Pang explained.

Entitled “Chinese Railways,” the video was first shown at the opening of the 7th World Congress on High Speed Rails in Beijing in December 2010, and demonstrated the developments and achievements of China’s railways over the past decades.

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