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China Daily Website

China faces hurdles to make its films successful

Updated: 2013-06-12 17:35
( Xinhua)

BRUSSELS -- China's film industry, which has been growing very fast domestically, still faces hurdles to be really successful in the global market, one of China's top film industry leaders told Xinhua.

While Chinese film industry has been enjoying the fastest growth in the world, "it is still hard to say when a Chinese movie can win the Oscar award," said Zhou Tiedong, president of China Film Promotion International (CFPI), in a recent interview.

In the past decade, China have had an annual growth of more than 30 percent in its film industry. By the end of last year, China surpassed Japan as the second largest film market in the world, said Zhou.

Chinese films have also witnessed remarkable growth in the international market. From 2002 to 2011, the international box office of Chinese films increased from 500 million yuan ($81.5 million) to 3.5 billion yuan, according to Zhou.

A number of Chinese films, such as "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon," "Hero" and some kung fu movies, have made into the mainstream, especially in the United States, said Zhou.

However, Zhou was disappointed that Chinese film should have been more successful, especially given that China has become a "key word" in the international cultural market as its influence is fast growing.

"China has become phenomenal, so they have to use China concept to cater to the taste of global audience," said Zhou, referring to Kung Fu Panda, an American computer-animated action-comedy martial arts film as a good example.

"Unfortunately, the internationally successful film should have been made by Chinese rather than Hollywood," Zhou said.

He blamed cultural difference and a lack of "story strategy" for the fact that no Chinese filmmaker had come up with the idea of combining Kung Fu and Panda into a successful movie.

"It's all because of cultural difference. People from other cultures sometimes can not quite understand what Chinese film is talking about. This is called cultural discount," he said.

Zhou urged Chinese film producers and filmmakers to be more aware of the global audience. "You have to target the right audience globally," he said.

China's filmmakers also suffer from a lack of "the right story strategy," said Zhou, calling upon Chinese filmmakers to ponder "what story should we tell, who are we telling story to, and how to tell it?"

"Literally and culturally, Chinese films are too Chinese. The language in the film should be translatable to other cultures," Zhou said.

"This means that Chinese films should tell 'human story,' but not Chinese-specific story, which is not necessarily related to other people in other countries," he added.

Zhou pointed to increased international co-production and cooperation as one of the key remedies to make Chinese films more globally successful.

China has signed film co-production agreements with more and more countries including Italy, France, Canada and Austrilia, among many other countries, he added.