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Silver screen's ethnic sheen

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2014-10-30 06:54

Silver screen's ethnic sheen
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He explains the low-budget Where Is My Home is part of a central government project to promote the cultures of the 106 million Chinese who aren't of the Han ethnicity that comprises more than 90 percent of the country's population.

The project has run for a year and aspires to feature each group in at least one movie in the coming five to 10 years.

Niu says ethnic flicks, such as Liu Sanjie and Five Golden Flowers, were popular in the 1950s.

But the film market's growth has pushed them out.

"Audiences are pickier, and the traditional production method is outdated," Niu says.

Under the antiquated system, directors get investments from State-owned film companies and don't take responsibility for ticket sales.

Niu says some veteran directors who've shot ethnic films for decades have changed their minds and seek to work within the new system dictated by producers and the market.

"Scripts are being amended to appeal to the public," he says.

"They focus on telling stories that are universal, rather than particular to one group."

While Where Is My Home is set among Yugur people, it reflects a global dilemma of development's transformation of ancient civilizations.

"The whole world can understand such themes," Niu says.

"They're beyond borders."

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