Opportunity, challenges coexist in China-UK film cooperations

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 15, 2014
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A new China-UK film event will be held on the bank of the Thames in September this year after Britain and China signed a co-production treaty last month.

The new event Screen China will be part of the Thames Festival, the annual largest outdoor art festival in London. About ten Chinese films will be screened from Sept. 12 to 16.

The organizers Allied China Europe Society (ACES) also announced the British Chinese Film & TV Summit would take place on Sept. 15.

"China will take part in the Thames Festival for the first time. About one million visitors come to the festival every year, so it's a good opportunity to showcase Chinese culture through films, food, handcraft and fashion," said Huilin Proctor, director of ACES.

She added the summit would provide unparalleled networking and business opportunities for filmmakers and producers from China and Britain.

Special moments

Besides Screen China and the British Chinese Film & TV Summit, events such as the Chinese Visual Festival, China International Film Festival have sprung up in Britain recently.

From June to October this year, the British Film Institute (BFI) will present "A Century of Chinese Cinema," about 80 Chinese films will be showcased during the festival.

A delegation, including professionals from British film industry, had attended the 4th Beijing International Film Festival last month and signed a co-production treaty, which many believe could push forward cooperation and development of each other's film industry and markets.

"I think it's a very special moment because there's a real sense of energy behind the desire both from the UK side and from China to really make something very special and important to happen," said Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI.

"Britain and China have very different cultures. If they make films together and tell each other's stories, it's a really great way of developing and sharing each other's understanding of countries and cultures," she added.

"So many Chinese-British film events taking place in both countries means the Chinese side and British side have great passion and strong desire, and eager for exchange and cooperation in the film industry," said Luan Guozhi, deputy director-general of the Film Bureau of China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and TV.

"The exchange on film will not only create economic benefits, but for the culture. I think it's more significant," he said.

Primary stages

Nowadays, U.S. films have dominated most markets in the world. When talking about blockbusters, most people think of Hollywood.

"Very few Chinese audiences and filmmakers know about British films. Some filmmakers like to seek opportunities in Hollywood when they mention co-production. But China and Britain cannot reproduce the Hollywood mode," said Huilin.

"Hence I think the cooperation of Chinese and British film cooperation is now at the primary stage. That's why we created the summit, hoping that professionals from the two countries could exchange views, learn from each other and share experiences," she said.

"We hope that the Chinese films screened in Britain won't only attract homesick Chinese students and citizens, but also draw Britons' attention," she added.

"In some ways, getting the treaty signed was the easiest part. The next thing is about starting to build relationships between filmmakers in Britain and China," said Nevill.

"The essence of how to suit each other's taste is very important. Chinese and British producers and filmmakers need to prepare to invest time to make a successful film," she said. Endi

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