World / Highlights

China's big hits coming to New Zealand theaters

By An Baijie in Wellington (China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-25 07:52

 China's big hits coming to New Zealand theaters

Liu Qibao (center right), head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, and Stephen Chow (top center), Hong Kong pop artist and director, attend the opening ceremony of the 2016 New Zealand China Film Week at New Zealand's national museum in Wellington on Tuesday. Edmond Tang / China Daily

Six popular films to be shown as two countries increase cultural exchanges

Six popular Chinese films will be shown this week in New Zealand movie theaters amid efforts by both countries' governments to increase cultural exchanges.

The films are The Mermaid, Xuan Zang, The Monkey King 2, Go Away Mr. Tumor, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny and Monster Hunt.

The screenings were announced on Tuesday during the 2016 New Zealand China Film Week.

Liu Qibao, the Communist Party of China Central Committee's publicity chief, attended the opening ceremony in Wellington, the New Zealand capital.

He is leading a delegation of senior cultural officials on a visit to the country from Tuesday to Thursday that is aimed at boosting cultural exchanges.

Wang Lutong, the Chinese ambassador to New Zealand, said the country is the first to conclude intergovernmental film and television co-production agreements with China.

In 2010, the two governments signed an agreement on film co-production. Many scenes of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny were shot in New Zealand.

"As noted by President Xi Jinping, film and television co-production will inject new impetus into cultural exchanges," Wang said, adding that China's development has brought new opportunities to work with New Zealand.

Zhou Jiandong, an official from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, noted that The Mermaid, which was shown on Tuesday afternoon in Wellington, is China's highest grossing film ever, with box office revenue of 3.38 billion yuan ($516 million).

"China has an ancient history with a marvelous civilization, while New Zealand has beautiful natural scenery, and the two countries have much potential to work together in shooting films," he said.

Last year, China's box office receipts reached $6.8 billion, with a year-on-year increase of 48.7 percent.

Stephen Chow, director of The Mermaid, said at the opening ceremony that he wanted to shoot a movie with scenes filmed in New Zealand, given the beautiful scenery there.

Documentary offers glimpse of life in the 1950s

China's big hits coming to New Zealand theaters

A movie shot nearly six decades ago provides intriguing insights into ties between China and New Zealand before the countries established diplomatic ties in 1972.

The black-and-white movie, Inside Red China, was made by New Zealand couple Rudall and Ramai Hayward in 1957, at a time when China's relations with the West were clouded by the Cold War.

The documentary, which is less than 30 minutes long, captures poignant moments from people's lives in four cities: Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing and Wuhan.

The movie, shown at the New Zealand embassy in Beijing just days ahead of the 2016 New Zealand China Film Week, has a scene in which Ramai Hayward presents a Maori feather cloak to Mao Zedong, the founder of the People's Republic of China.

In April 2013, the National Museum of China, where the cloak was kept, loaned it to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the country's national museum, for an exhibition.

The Museum of New Zealand held a ceremony to mark the arrival of the cloak.

Besides the presentation of the cloak, the documentary includes such scenes as pandas at Beijing Zoo and construction of the historic Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge, the first road-and-rail bridge across the Yangtze.

John McKinnon, New Zealand's ambassador to China said the movie reflects a "frank and straightforward view" of China in the 1950s and provides a "reliable report" about the country during that time.


Trudeau visits Sina Weibo
May gets little gasp as EU extends deadline for sufficient progress in Brexit talks
Ethiopian FM urges strengthened Ethiopia-China ties
Yemen's ex-president Saleh, relatives killed by Houthis
Most Popular
Hot Topics