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Streaming toward success

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2019-11-21 09:08
A scene from the hit series The Mystic Nine, which features actress Zhao Liying and actor William Chan. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A new wave of domestic drama producers are picking up awards across Asia, and raising the bar for the Chinese online film industry in the process, Xu Fan reports.

When producer Cai Jia was a young child, the little "secret" that pleased her most was to slip out of bed, sneak into the living room and turn on the TV set when her parents were sleeping.

Approaching midnight, The Journey to the West - perhaps the most repeatedly broadcast drama in the history of Chinese television - was the big draw for her.

Curious about how special-effects were created - like how the lead character of the Monkey King managed to steer his cloud through the skies - Cai had always harbored a dream of pursuing a career in television production.

Now, working as a deputy head of the Beijing-based studio Linghe Media, the 29-year-old from Jiangxi province has fulfilled her ambition by producing several popular online series, including The Death Notice franchise, The Mystic Nine, and Sand Sea.

Racking up around 16 billion views online, The Mystic Nine - a fantasy series adapted from a bestselling republic-era novel about a tight-knit clan of tomb raiders - was one of the most-watched Chinese dramas of 2016.

Alongside colleague Han Bing, Cai recently won best producer at the 2nd True Aspiration Awards, an annual ceremony recognizing young talent for their creativity and dedication.

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