Hangzhou gets animated to host festival
East China's garden city of Hangzhou is to host the first China International Animation Festival, an event designed to foster the country's budding animation industry.
"The festival aims to be a platform for exchange and investment activities, and will therefore stimulate the formation of an animation industry with advanced technologies and a mature market system," Hangzhou Mayor Sun Zhonghuan told a press conference in Beijing yesterday.
The festival, from June 1-5, will include expositions, a display of classic animation films and meetings of animation businesses, according to Sun.
China's cartoon industry is worth billions of yuan and side-products include.computer games and mobile phone messages.
The domestic industry is still only young, considering the US$500-billion-strong output of animation-related products worldwide in 2004.
Chinese animation companies produce about 29,000 minutes of cartoon programmes each year, compared with a market demand of more than 268,000 minutes.
"An inadequate broadcasting platform has been the main barrier to the animation industry's prosperity," said Jin Delong, vice-director of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.
But he said the administration has been working on policies to facilitate the marketing and consumption of animation.
China Central Television and 20 provincial and city TV stations now have cartoon channels, including three satellite channels, according to Jin.
"The animation festival is a long-awaited event for this young industry," he said.
The administration will approve the host city of the annual event through public bidding every year, he said.