Golden year for Chinese cinema

Updated: 2014-12-04 07:13

By Wang Kaihao(China Daily USA)

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Golden year for Chinese cinema

A scene from writer-turned-director Han Han's film debut, The Continent. Photo Provided to China Daily

Art-house films haven't won audiences but have earned critical acclaim. And while the biopic of writer Xiao Hong, The Golden Era, didn't bring in big bucks, its all-star cast won filmgoers' attention.

"This encourages us to open art-house cinemas," Beijing Novo United Films Co Ltd's president Zhou Tiedong says.

"Chinese film will become more diverse in 2015. But we're still exploring to find a more mature business model."

Next year will mark the 110th anniversary of Chinese film. (The first Chinese movie was 1905's Dingjun Mountain.)

Zhou expects this will breed nostalgia for art-house films.

The War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) will be another major theme for 2015, as China celebrates the 70th anniversary of victory. Though it will possibly produce high-budget war films, the cinema manager worries the fad may bore audiences.

Experts expect a continuation of 2014's expanded international cooperation. China this year signed coproduction agreements with South Korea, Russia and India.

Real estate and media giant Wanda Group reportedly plans to invest in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and North America's Lions Gate Entertainment this month.

"China's film industry can't escape borrowing foreign ships to send its films overseas when it can't construct its own fleet," Zhou says.

He points out that about 90 percent of Chinese films screened abroad in recent years have been Sino-foreign coproductions.

"Such cooperation will expand in the next few years, encouraging Chinese filmmakers to seek broader horizons, ameliorate industry woes and construct a more complete industry chain," he says.

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