Films were introduced into China at the end of the 19th century, and the market was mainly dominated by foreign films in the early period. It was not until November 1905 that the Chinese shot their first film, The Battle of Dingjunshan. It was adapted from a Peking Opera of the same title by the Beijing Fengtai Photo Studio and Tan Xinpei, a renowned performer of Peking Opera. The shooting of the film marked the official birth of Chinese cinema.
The film is a silent one and, according to requirements of silent movies, it only shot some action pictures such as "Asking for Fight", "Fighting with a Sword" and "Face to Face Fight ".
The producer of the film is Ren Jingfeng, who had studied photography in Japan. He bought a manual camera and 14 sets of films from a German merchant for the film. He hired Liu Zhonglun as his cameraman. The film was produced outdoors for three days without transcript or background.
Though it was very coarse, the film marked the beginning of the China film history. It is a precious material for the study of China film and Peking Opera.
(chinaculture.org January 18, 2004)