New collaboration launched to integrate Chinese film and theater

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, July 31, 2023
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The National Theatre of China and China Film Co., Ltd. signed a deal on Thursday to establish a strategic partnership, which will foster closer collaboration in a mix of stage and cinema arts.

Fu Ruoqing (L), chairman of China Film Group, and Tian Qinxin (R), the president of the National Theatre of China, shake hands at the signing ceremony for cooperation held in Beijing on July 27, 2023. [Photo courtesy of China Film Group]

The collaboration aims to integrate technology and art, promote the creative transformation of classic works, explore digital screenings for theater productions, strengthen cooperation among artists, cultivate young talent, and contribute to the high-quality development of China's cultural and creative industries in the new era.

Lu Yingchuan, vice minister of culture and tourism, congratulated the companies on the deal, saying, "This is an innovative and highly significant endeavor, as well as a commendable exploration of the national cultural digitization strategy established by the Party Central Committee and the State Council. Traditionally, stage arts were experienced by attending theater performances. However, in the context of information technology and digitalization, stage arts can now reach the audience more effectively and have a greater impact."

After the strategic collaboration agreement was signed, the two parties will find ways to comprehensively integrate film and stage drama. They will establish an information-sharing mechanism to transform classic works creatively and explore bidirectional adaptations between classic films and stage dramas. Collaboration among performing artists will be facilitated, leveraging their resources in multiple fields. In addition, the development of young talent will be promoted through professional exchanges and project collaborations, providing practical experiences and training opportunities.

Regarding the exploration of a new digital projection mode for bringing theater productions to cinemas, they will utilize China Film Co., Ltd.'s distribution advantages in the national film market. Through techniques like live broadcasting and digital screening, they will create an innovative cultural consumption experience by transforming movie theaters into a "second stage" for both theater and film audiences. 

Tian Qinxin, the president of the National Theatre of China, stated that the National Theatre of China would strive to answer the call of the directives outlined during a central meeting held in June regarding cultural inheritance and development and shoulder the cultural missions of advancing cultural prosperity, contributing to building a leading cultural nation and promoting the development of the modern Chinese civilization.

"Today, we are establishing a strategic partnership based on the principles of honesty, cooperation, complementary advantages, mutual benefit, and common development. We hope that both sides can join hands and, with a strong cultural consciousness, undertake the new cultural missions of the new era. Together, we will promote the high-quality development of literature, art, and the cultural industry," she said.

Fu Ruoqing, chairman of China Film Group and China Film Co., Ltd., expressed great anticipation for the collaboration with the National Theatre of China. As both parties are leading industry players centered around artistic creation, they will combine their professional strengths to explore the cultural value of China and delve into the creative adaptation between film and theater.

"We aim to promote the creative transformation of classic literary and artistic works. Through innovative artistic presentations, refreshing expressions, and diverse technical approaches, we will create more works that resonate with our time, contemporary aesthetics, and the essence of Chinese culture," he said.

In recent years, the National Theatre of China has been using advanced technology to break the boundaries between film and stage, creating immersive presentations that combine theater and cinema. They have produced remarkable works like "Literature and Arts During the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression" and "Live Broadcasting of the Founding Ceremony of the People's Republic of China," seamlessly integrating theater and film arts.

Later in the day, the documentary-like stage drama "Literature and Arts During the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression" premiered as a film for the attending guests. With its grand narrative style, it authentically portrays the story of patriotic artists seeking a way forward for Chinese arts from 1931 to 1945. The audience examined the venture project and praised it as a theatrical extravaganza and a perfect blend of stage art and cinema, offering a unique audiovisual experience and contributing to a diverse range of cultural productions.

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