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Salvations of film, television industry amid epidemic period

CGTN | Updated: 2020-02-21 14:28
At least 260 cinemas halted business starting from the first day of the Spring Festival holiday. Insiders are expecting a forthcoming boom in the entertainment industry, when people step outdoors soon after the epidemic is over.[Photo/Xinhua]

The entertainment industry in China is grappling with a new normal.

Only two months ago, before the epidemic outbreak, industry insiders were still expecting to trump last year's Spring Festival box office earnings. This figure was 6.87 billion yuan ($980 million) in 2019.

But the outbreak of the COVID-19 changed everything. Besides the films that canceled their holiday releases, those under production at film bases have all been halted. Forced to take the long break, many insiders have been trying to find a way out.

A time to reflect and prepare

For many people, salvation should start from inside.

Some of the production companies have started to work online, talking about new programs after the epidemic is finished. Many are even focusing on stories about the novel coronavirus outbreak.

"We've all been immersed in various types of emotions, there are many touching stories, and it could be great to dig deep into that," Zhang Hui, a producer at Huanrui Century, an entertainment company in China. "We should record it and represent it through artistic expressions."

It is also a time for the production companies to reconsider their content, and to contribute more to refining screenplays, production procedures and the whole process of creating entertainment.

Supportive policies

There are also many local governments that have vowed to support the film and television industries. During a press conference held on Wednesday, Zhao Lei, deputy director of the Publicity Department of the Beijing Municipal CPC Committee, said that the city has been working out supportive measures for the entertainment industry, such as increasing subsidies for small and medium-sized cinemas.

At least 260 cinemas halted business starting from the first day of the Spring Festival holiday, according to Zhao. The department has also been planning with industry associations to reduce cinemas' rent and property fees.

There will also be supportive fiscal measures on both municipal and national levels to help the companies out of their coronavirus-related plight. Beijing is not alone in coming up with such measures.

Besides, insiders are expecting a forthcoming boom in the entertainment industry, when people step outdoors soon after the epidemic is over.

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