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Arthouse films, documentaries set for bigger release

By Wang Kaihao | | Updated: 2020-11-23 08:51
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Poster of  Tough Out. [Photo/Mtime]

More arthouse films and high-quality documentaries, which are often unfairly marginalized in mainstream film market for their limited business value, may have more chance to be distributed and screened in Chinese cinemas, thanks to a new agreement reached in Beijing on Thursday.

Elemeet, a film distribution platform that facilitates a limited release of specialty films, and iQiyi, China's major online streaming media platform, signed a strategic agreement in Beijing to create more screening opportunities, online and offline, for young generation filmmakers' work, often their first feature-length films.

According to Wu Feiyue, CEO of Elemeet, many young filmmakers' productions, in spite of their previous reputation in film festivals, lack money for publicity and distribution and thus miss the opportunity to be known by wider public. The situation is same for arthouse films and documentaries.

The new agreement will enable Elemeet and iQiyi to jointly select high-quality productions and thus draw tailor-made plans for distribution to expand their influence.

The studio Factory Gate Films and FIRST International Film Festival, China's main platforms nurturing young filmmakers, will also to join the cooperation by providing resources to new talents.

Tough Out, an overwhelmingly acclaimed documentary on how a group of children at a loss to rediscover meaning of life through practice of baseball, became the first film to benefit from the new project. This film, which won best documentary award at this year's FIRST International Film Festival, will be premiered on Dec 11 in cinemas nationwide.

The film, gaining 8.8 points of total 10 on Douban, China's major film and TV critic website, is so far the highest rated Chinese film in 2020.

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