China's top film official on Tuesday called for world-class teams to make films in China and cooperate with local partners amid a boom in the country's film industry.
Tong Gang, head of the movie bureau at the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, made the open invitation to an audience of filmmakers including "Avatar" and "Titantic" director James Cameron at the 2nd Beijing International Film Festival.
"With a 5,000-year history, China has an abundant source of stories, which I believe can be well received by the global audience after proper development," Tong said.
He said China possesses other advantages including the country's vast territory and breathtaking landscapes for scenery shooting as well as excellent facilities and talents.
Tong's words reflected China's growing appetite for producing top-rated films to cement its presence in the global entertainment industry.
The official acknowledged at a workshop earlier this year that Chinese-made films "still had many problems" in entering the global market.
Last year, China exported 55 films to be screened in 22 countries and regions, raking in 2.05 billion yuan (325 million U.S. dollars) in box office revenue. However, the figure was lower than that of 2010.
A recent survey conducted in nine countries by Beijing Normal University showed that, while Chinese kung fu movies remain popular among foreign audiences, Chinese directors and actors still lack international recognition.
Only 20 percent of the survey's 1,400 respondents said they pay attention to Chinese movies, with 8.6 percent saying that they "approve of the influence" of Chinese movies.
"In terms of films, regarded as a gauge of a country's 'soft power,' China is far less competitive or influential compared to developed countries," Tong said then.
Co-production is seen by China's cultural authorities as a way out.
Just this month, China's DMG Entertainment and the Walt Disney Company agreed to shoot "Iron Man 3" in China. It will be the first China-Hollywood co-production with an investment over 1 billion U.S. dollars.
In February, DreamWorks Animation, producer of Hollywood blockbusters such as "Kung Fu Panda," announced the establishment of a joint venture with Chinese partners in Shanghai.
Oriental DreamWorks will closely link elements of Chinese history, culture and literature in its various productions, according to Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation.
The Shanghai studio is expected to release its first animated film in 2016.
At the Beijing festival, Cameron's 3-D team is being tapped to forge cooperation with a local team to make "The Art of War," a film about the ancient Chinese strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu.
Cameron was invited to the festival to speak in a forum on Chinese-foreign film co-production and to talk with Chinese filmmakers and businesses on future cooperation.
The Canadian director said his team has been taking crew members from many different countries, shooting scenes around the globe, and finally producing films that achieve huge box office success in various parts of the world.
Cameron said China has a huge market and its film industry is growing rapidly, and he hopes to be involved in that development.
In 2011, China's film market generated around 2 billion U.S. dollars, and is expected by some to overtake Japan, which had a 2.3-billion-U.S.-dollar movie market last year, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.