China's increasing soft power

Updated: 2017-03-17 08:07

By Zhou Mo in Hong Kong(HK Edition)

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Chinese films still have a long way to go before they could make a profound impact on the international market, said Ann An, chairman of Desen International Media. Many of these still lag behind their Hollywood counterparts in production skills and are mostly confined to Chinese culture, An told China Daily on Thursday in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the Asia Leadership Roundtable on Sino-foreign film co-productions, hosted by this paper.

"How to produce films the way Hollywood does is a key issue for Chinese filmmakers. It may take 10 to 15 years before we can catch up with Hollywood films," An said.

She also noted that a country's political, economic and cultural power affect a film's chances of drawing international attention to the films it produces. "When a country is strong enough to impact other countries, the overseas audiences will care about its culture. And that will boost its films," she said.

"With the enhancement of the international standing of the Chinese mainland, Chinese films are expected to make a bigger impact in the international market."

The film market on the Chinese mainland has been growing at a fast speed over the recent years. Last year, it generated 45.71 billion yuan in box office takings, rising 3.73 percent year-on-year, according to State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

"Co-production has become a trend. To produce a successful film, you need to know clearly which market you are targeting," said An.

"For Sino-foreign co-productions, catering to the taste of Chinese audiences and satisfying the cultural demand of Chinese people is the primary factor filmmakers should take into consideration," she added.

Since its establishment in 2009, Desen has produced a series of well-received films, including 14 Blades, Ip Man 2 and Lee's Adventure.

Ann said rather than focusing solely on commercial interests, producers should pay attention to whether the films they make "have cultural meaning and are able to meet the audience's demand for entertainment. Otherwise, it is just fast food with no nutrition."

"People have been accustomed to the 'Hollywood model', which is about films making a strong impact. I hope to explore a new model in which more emotional elements come through in commercial films," she added.

China's increasing soft power

China's increasing soft power

(HK Edition 03/17/2017 page2)