El Marché du Film y Bridging the Dragon miran hacia el futuro de la colaboración internacional con China
- CANNES 2023: Los retos y las oportunidades de este tipo de cooperación en diferentes sectores, bajo la lupa durante el evento
Este artículo está disponible en inglés.
In the last three years, the pandemic has put a halt to many international collaborations, in particular with China. Indeed, the import of foreign films to China has seen a dramatic drop. Only 57 foreign titles were released in 2022, accounting for just 12.4% of the total box-office takings. The numbers of international co-productions have been also at their lowest.
After two years of struggling, the Chinese film industry is now recovering. The spring holiday window this year showed that local audiences still hold plenty of affection for movies, with a strong box-office performance exceeding €920 million in just seven days, which is the second-highest spring-holiday result to date. Meanwhile, with the reopening of China's borders, local filmmakers are once again free to travel and re-engage with international festivals and markets. Positive signals were already seen at the Berlinale and the Hong Kong Filmart earlier this year, as well as now at the Marché du Film, where Bridging the Dragon organised this particular conference.
With the appointment of a new head of the China Film Bureau and the accelerated approval process for foreign independent films, more movies from overseas are beginning to be released in China, including Marvel and Hollywood titles such as The Super Mario Bros. Movie, The Woman King and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. But the Chinese public's enthusiasm for US films seems to have waned after the lengthy pandemic. It should come as no surprise that two Japanese anime titles grossed far more than any Hollywood blockbuster in China this year – Makoto Shinkai's Suzume, with $115 million, and Toei Animation's The First Slam Dunk, with $90 million.
Liu Hui, co-founder and CEO of Bad Rabbit Pictures, pointed out that although arthouse films are faced with difficulties in securing financing, there is an increasing number of funds and festivals in China that support the new generation of directors who have flourished in the country over the past few years. However, the challenge is still to make these films better known to the international audience.
Lu Chuan, a well-known Chinese screenwriter and director, shared his observations on audience taste in China. Comedy is currently the biggest trend in the country because it’s a form of escapism and it’s safe, but Lu thinks that as the industry matures, more genres are gaining space, such as sci-fi and fantasy, which are a better fit for the taste of the younger audience.
Not many people from the Western industry know that the new wave of Chinese audiovisual content is being influenced by the growth of a fresh generation of very talented women. The role of women in the traditionally patriarchal Chinese society has come a long way, and women now represent a more and more sizeable audience.
(Traducción del inglés)
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