Chinese film and TV studios reopen after COVID-19 suspensions

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Chinese film and TV industry is recovering as film studios have reopened across China and many crews have resumed work after several weeks of suspension due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Xiangshan Film and Television town in Ningbo, Eastern China's Zhejiang province, was one of the first to reopen in February end, as four crews have returned to work and another 50 are preparing to come back.

The crew of the second season of award-winning TV series "Like a Flowing River" was one of the first to start shooting. On March 15, its leading actor Wang Kai posted a photo of a blue sky on his Weibo account, and the TV series' account later re-posted the photo with the message: "It is the third day after resuming work with bright sunlight. Wish everything goes well!"

Hengdian World Studios, one of China's biggest film and TV production centers, reopened five of its shooting bases on March 28, with more than 20 crews resuming shooting, including new TV series "Legend of Fei" staring Zhao Liying and Wang Yibo.

In addition, Shanghai Film Park, Qingdao-based Oriental Movie Metropolis and Xi'an-based Bai Lu Yuan Studios reopened one after another.

Zhang Yimou's new film resumes shooting

Films also resumed shooting. Director Zhang Yimou's first spy film "Impasse" resumed filming in Datong, Northern China's Shanxi province, after suspending operations for more than 50 days due to the epidemic.

"This time, I have a lot of time to watch movies every day. I think it is an opportunity for learning and improving," CCTV's Movie News reported, citing the film's photographer Zhao Xiaoding.

Besides, the film "Moses in the Plain," produced by Golden Bear winner Diao Yinan and directed by Zhang Ji, also resumed filming in Hada Bay Old Industrial Zone in northeastern China's Jilin province on March 26.

Epidemic preventive measures taken

Before starting filming, crews had to take epidemic prevention measures.

The administrator of Xiangshan Film and Television Town required that the crews must provide epidemic prevention and control plans as well as emergency plans, besides preparing epidemic prevention appliances in advance.

It also asked all members of a crew to be quarantined for 14 days locally before shooting, and gathering of no more than 50 people is allowed during shooting.

According to media reports, the administrator of Hengdian World Studios required all members of a crew to take an exam on the knowledge of epidemic prevention, and only by answering all 25 questions correctly can they return to work.

Favorable policies help crews resume work

To help epidemic-hit film and television production companies, local governments and studios in Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang province and Jiangsu province introduced preferential financial policies.

The government of Dongyang city, Zhejiang province, where Hengdian World Studios is located, allocated 10 million yuan (around $1.4 million) to subsidize the venue and equipment rents as well as accommodation and catering fees for crews in Hengdian.

Hengdian World Studios exempted the rental fees for film making venues and studios during the suspension, cut the hotel accommodation fee by half, and gave those who stayed in Hengdian 500 yuan subsidy per person.

Xiangshan Film and Television town exempted venue rents, cut studio rents and accommodation fees by 30 to 50 percent, and cut rental fees of equipment, props, clothing and vehicles by 10 to 20 percent.

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