Belt and Road Film Summit injects new energy into world cinema
On June 20, the Belt and Road Film Summit took place at the Pudong Shendi Culture Center, Shanghai. Renowned filmmakers and senior executives of film and television companies from home and abroad promoted the exchanges and interaction among the national film circles along the Belt and Road, and explored their cooperation and win-win path through in-depth experience sharing and prospect envisioning. WENG Zuliang, Member of Standing Committee of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee and Party Secretary of Pudong New Area, and ZHOU Huilin, Member of Standing Committee of CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee and Director of Publicity Department attended the event.
As introduced by YU Xiufen, Director of the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film & TV, the Belt and Road Film Week jointly held by Shanghai International Film Festival and Pudong New Area is designed to showcase the distinctive film art of the countries along the Belt and Road. On the other hand, by virtue of the advantages of Pudong Free Trade Zone, it is to call on film professionals to assemble domestic and foreign superior resources on the versatile platform of Pudong as an international tourism and resorts zone through international project roadshow, negotiation talk, producer consultation meeting, international film and television cooperation policy presentation, and more.
LI Guirong, Party Secretary of the Administrative Committee for Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone, also expressed his willingness to support filmmaking. He said that the collaboration with SIFF on Belt and Road Film Week, is a concrete move of Pudong New Area to build up the cultural brand of Shanghai and implement the development strategies on national and municipal level. Pudong is to establish an international film and television park featuring high-tech film and television production, professionals training, and publicity & distribution in the Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone. To this end, Pudong has set a special fund of RMB 100 million each year, and will launch a series of powerful “combined moves” to boost the industry.
In the following speeches, a number of film & TV agency executives and filmmakers showed strong interest in the exchanges and cooperation with the countries along the Belt and Road.
REN Zhonglun, Chairman of Shanghai Film Group Corporation, reaffirmed in his address the significance of the film art in nations along the Belt and Road, including China, to the world film landscape. “Before World War II, the world cinema was dominated by European films; after World War II, American movies gradually emerged as the main force. While in recent years, Chinese movies are gaining wider influence. If we engage the high-quality and promising works in these countries, I believe we will change the world landscape of cinema again.” The Shanghai Film Group Corporation is also committed to the collaboration with the countries along. Among them, the China-Kazakhstan co-production THE MUSICIAN XIAN XINGHAI and China-Israel co-production THE CURSED PIANO have already raised much attention.
Bill KONG, Executive Director of Edko Films Ltd., also expressed his hope to expand the co-producing space. “The sceneries of these countries are fascinating. It is a pity that we haven’t been to these places for shooting. We believe it is the time to explore them.”
President of Wanda Pictures, ZENG Maojun made an analysis: there are four shortcomings of Chinese films compared with that in the United States: first, the ability to tell stories and produce content; second, talent reserve; third, infrastructure; fourth, post-production. However, SIFF is demonstrating that Shanghai is filling these gaps. “We hope to have more interaction and cooperation with Shanghai in terms of personnel training and post-production. I believe that in the next three to five years, Chinese filmmakers will develop a stronger story-telling ability.”