June 22st, 2019
Expanded Hainan Film Festival Set to Start in December
By Joyce Xu
The 2nd Hainan Island International Film Festival will be held from December 1 to 8 in Sanya, officials announced at the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival.
This year’s festival is composed of a film competition, project exchange and film market. Also outdoor film screening on the beach, film industry forums and visits to film shooting locations are part of the program.
It is the first year of competition during the festival. A total of 10 prizes will be presented to outstanding and creative feature-length films and documentaries and fiction shorts.
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, local film museums in Hainan Province will also organize a special exhibition titled “Beginning from Film.”
The film project market will aim at new film projects in Chinese Language with enormous commercial potential. Significant cash prizes will be offered to the best projects.
Officials from the Hainan festival’s organizing committee said they were learning a lot from being involved in the Shanghai International Film Festival.
The two festivals will strengthen their cooperation in film exhibition and the film market to boost development of the Chinese film industry.
Festival Views Restored Version of First
Film Released after PRC was Founded
By Joyce Xu
The 4K restored version of the classic film “The Adventures of Sanmao the Waif” was screened at the ongoing 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival. It will be screened in China during this year’s National Day holiday in October.
The film was the first feature released to the Chinese public after foundation of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949.
The latest restored version done by iQiyi has largely improved the images and sound of the original movies.
Ya Ning, the president of iQiyi Pictures, said it usually cost between several hundred thousand yuan to 2 million yuan to restore an old film.
“We hope to preserve the classics of Chinese cinema with modern technology,” said Ya. “Film restoration will also become a long-term work for us. In the future we may choose one to two movies of high artistry every year to restore.”
Restoration of the 1956 drama film “The Family” and the 1963 romance film “Peach Blossom Fan” is also underway. Many time-honored TV series and animations will also be restored by using the Zoom AI technology.
Film Product Spin-offs, IP and Location Attractions Fire Forum Discussions
By Rachel Lu
The Chinese film industry market expansion has beyond screen into creative design, manufacturing, and location-based entertainment, and the growing use of film IP were the subjects of a forum discussion at 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival yesterday.
Seven industry executives and experts contributed to the SIFF Forum topic Game on: Film Derivatives, which are started with a presentation by Kermid Rahman, a senior Walt Disney Company executive.
Rahman, Disney’s general manager for the commercialization of consumer product in Greater China and Korea, said that 66 Disney items are sold per minute in China. The “Toy Story” franchise now includes a theme park, hotel, and plane ride experience.
He said the mission of companies in China was to build consumer-based industry and creative products keep staying rooted in excellent story telling. The Chinese market had proven it has the biggest potential in the world, he said.
The forum heard that the film IP market in China was at a good stage and derivative products were being constantly developed.
Nae Ikezawa, a business strategy manager for Bandai Namco Entertainment, used the mature Japanese market as a comparison, where IP products provided 40% of total film income in a seamless product development process.
Beijing China Film Marketing executive Zhang Hairong cited the success of Hollywood, its powerful market leverages the long-standing impacts on franchised films such as “Star Wars.”
To tap the potential of the Chinese market, a film with valuable IP should have social impacts, friendly characters, and preferably with the fantasized world, Zhang said.
He referred to the company’s recent film “The Wandering Earth” as an example that met all the above standards and accorded that they were eager to create derivative products.
Fresh Zhang of Pearl Studio used the company’s success story, “Kung Fu Panda 3,” as an example of developing derivate products. The creative team used the courageous character of the panda and its story line as a selling-point to cooperate with Kang Shi Fu Instant Noodles.
Fu Xiaoran, marketing general manager at Alifish and Alibaba Pictures, noted the importance of creating an industry chain where advertising for a film was synchronized with the development of products to maximize consumer interest.
Another important aspect discussed at the forum was the need to address what was described as the root of the problem and prioritize marketing at the filmmaking stage.
Ikezawa spoke about the need for human resources to liaise between the filmmakers and marketing to get a better understanding of potential derivative outcomes. He said if film producers could think much about marketing concepts and consumer needs from the scriptwriting stage, the Chinese market would grow exponentially.
The forum was told that apart from derivative products, location-based entertainment was becoming another aspect of generating revenue. Currently, there were 3,000 film location cities in China.
Chen Jianyu, chairman of Ningbo Screen Industry Park, highlighted the potential of exploiting film locations and said many cities tried to attract film productions to improve their travel industry. He said his company originally began with the same intention but was now professionalizing the filming sites and treating travel as a bi-product.
The founder of Yangtze River Delta Film and Television Production Center, Yu Zhiqing, alluded to Universal Studios as a positive example, where there was a balance and separation between filming and entertainment. This protected the film industry work but also induced travel, he said.
Li Yuhao of Sunac Culture hoped his company could build technologically advanced filming locations and, with proper upkeep, develop them for entertainment for Chinese consumers.