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Project to revive kung fu films launched at Beijing film festival

By Xu Fan | | Updated: 2024-04-22 12:00
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A project aimed at reviving kung fu films was launched at the 14th Beijing International Film Festival on April 20. [Photo provided to China Daily]

At the 14th Beijing International Film Festival on April 20, a significant initiative aimed at revitalizing the iconic genre of kung fu films, which once captivated audiences globally, was officially launched. This genre, synonymous with legends such as Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, holds a pivotal place in Chinese cinema and achieved widespread popularity in the West through blockbuster hits.

Spearheaded by the China Film Foundation, the project, titled "Kungfu Film Heritage Project: All-Star Kungfu Legend", has conducted extensive research in cities renowned for nurturing martial artists. It plans to organize nonprofit training sessions to offer guidance to aspiring actors, directors, and scriptwriters intending to delve into the realm of kung fu or action movies.

The project announced its inaugural mentors, including Hong Kong scriptwriter Charcoal Tan, celebrated for his work on martial arts blockbusters such as New Dragon Gate Inn, Li Zhizhou, former captain of China's National Wushu Team, and Jia Leilei, former vice-president of the Chinese National Academy of Arts.

Zhang Pimin, chairman of the foundation, highlighted the robust performance of China's box office, which exceeded 16 billion yuan ($2.21 billion) in the first quarter of the year, with theater admissions reaching 364 million, marking an 8.15 percent year-on-year surge. Despite this domestic success, China is yet to achieve its objective outlined in the China Film Administration's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) to become a significant global player in the film market.

Zhang emphasized that the revival of kung fu movies, a genre that has consistently dominated the top 20 highest-grossing Chinese-language films overseas over the past two decades, represents a meaningful endeavor toward this goal.

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