China is on a fast track to become the biggest movie market in the world, and foreign filmmakers are keen to play their part. It’s a key theme at this year’s Beijing International Film Festival, which hosted a forum to boost international cooperation.
With the addition of 6,000 to 8,000 new movie screens every year, it’s boom time for China’s box office, and that is bound to encourage domestic film-makers.
China is expected to generate the largest box-office revenues of any country in the world, surpassing North America, by the end of this year. And that means the old pattern of Chinese filmmakers seeking foreign investment has reversed.
For example, Italian film director Giuseppe Tornatore - known for “Cinema Paradiso”, “The Legend of 1900”, and “Malena” - has signed a contract with Alibaba Pictures Group to create a film targeting the global market.
And director of the Oscar-winning “No Man’s Land”, Danis Tanovic, who comes from Bosnia and Herzegovina and who has relied on international financing from European countries in the past, is now also focused on China.
Meanwhile, Iain Smith, executive producer of “Mad Max: Fury Road”, adds that British film-makers also have much to gain by working with the Chinese movie industry.
Clearly, China’s film industry is undergoing a major transformation, both in terms of demand and supply, and those changes are sure to have a global impact.