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Drive-in movie van a hit in rural Africa

By Fang Aiqing | China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-05 08:00
Local people in Masala, Zambia, watch a Chinese film on July 14, 2017. [Photo provided to China Daily]

During the screenings in the Republic of Congo in June, apart from entertaining movies, feature films about agricultural production technology were also presented to help the locals.

With nearly a decade's work experience in Africa, Liao is aware of the growing interest in Chinese films and TV dramas.

According to Liao, modern Chinese TV dramas like The Temptation to Go Home and Across the Ocean to See You gained average audience ratings in Zambia of over 1.9 percent of the total viewer numbers between 2017 and 2018. Audience ratings for the latter hit 4.9 percent.

During a trip last year to Kapiri Mposhi, the terminus of Tanzania-Zambia Railway, Liao was surprised to find local people speaking about kung fu, acupuncture and even Phoenix-brand bicycles - a legacy from the time Chinese workers were involved in the construction of the railway during the early 1970s.

It was at this point that Liao recognized the need to introduce films and dramas that reflected the social changes and economic development of modern day China to the people in Africa.

"I hope that Zambian people turn out in great numbers to watch the films," says Kampamba Mulenga, the minister of Information and Broadcasting Services at that time.

Mulenga said she believed that cultural exchanges should be mutually beneficial and that she hoped that Zambian films would make their way to China one day in the future.

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