CHINA> Regional
'Kung Fu Panda' punches away at controls on creativity
Updated: 2008-07-05 11:59

Although the film met calls for a boycott from mainland "panda artist" Zhao Bandi to protest its "cultural invasion", it has surpassed the take of any other foreign release in China in the first half of the year.

Zhao himself later became a target of public criticism for his "shortsighted nationalism" and for "exploiting pandas for his own self-promotion". A graduate of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, he became a self-styled "Panda Man" for his panda-image installations and subway posters.

CPPCC Standing Committee member Sun Zhonghuan said few domestic firms were willing to sustain the huge risk and budget to make such a film, which features the voices of stars Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu and Hong Kong martial arts superstar Jackie Chan.

The production of "Kung Fu Panda" took five years and cost more than 130 million U.S. dollars. Its global publicity budget is estimated at 125 million to 150 million U.S. dollars.

Sun said Chinese film makers generally worked with budgets of about 10 million yuan (1.43 million U.S. dollars) with moderate promotional funds.

"It's not that we could not produce such a film, but we lack an integrated industry base. In other words, we might have the ideas, but we lack the structure to realize them," he said.

Sun called for drafting state policies to support cultural creativity, respect talent and create a social atmosphere conducive to innovation.

CPPCC Standing Committee member Chen Jianguo, producer of a domestically-aired TV opera about an emperor of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), said foreigners were often too ignorant of China's history to understand its TV dramas, presenting an obstacle to global sales.

Wu said, "We know little about foreigners' views and expectations of the Chinese culture. We should study their viewing habits and psychology. If we can find common points of interest, our cultural products will have greater success."

He cited the Peking Opera version of Puccini's "Turandot", which toured Poland, Romania, Hungary and other parts of Europe in2004, as an example of cross-cultural success.

Standing Committee member Tian Congming, former president of Xinhua News Agency, said the international popularity of the classic Chinese work "The Art of War" was an example of worldwide interest in Chinese culture.


   Previous page 1 2 Next Page