China indicates plans to rebuild international film relations
China is seeking to restore international film collaborations following the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The China Film Co-Production Corporation said the country’s entertainment industry is ready to “relaunch international exchanges and cooperation in the field, including participating in [sic] festivals,” Variety reported. The Chinese Cinema Pavilion will be present at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival to encourage the reform of these relations. Despite the renewed interest, no Chinese representative was present due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Recently, Hollywood’s relations with China have been strained with the latest strange doctor film banned in the country as well as other releases, such as Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets, undergoing censorship edits. The Chinese cinema pavilion in Cannes hopes to inspire “confidence in the development of the industry”.
To encourage the formation of new international entertainment exchanges, China will introduce 24 “production companies, studios, festivals, copyright agencies and film academies” to Cannes and screen some of its recent blockbusters, including Ja Battle of Changjin II Lake.
The state of the Chinese film industry will also be discussed in forums in Cannes by prominent Chinese directors. Conversations will cover an “overview of the Chinese film industry in 2021, how art house films are imported and distributed in China, the international distribution of Chinese films, project development experiences shared by young Chinese producers, as well as how the Chinese film community will increase opportunities for future international collaboration after the shock of COVID-19. The recordings are also available on the China Film Pavilion online platform.
Netflix has also jumped into this new phase of rebuilding by partnering with Chinese streaming service Tencent. Companies have fostered an ongoing partnership by working together to adapt The three-body problem, a Hugo award-winning novel by Liu Cixin. Moreover, during this turbulent period, China released its own blockbusters in the domestic market. Recent hit movies include The Battle of Changjin II Lake, a WWII action flick that, at the time of writing, has grossed over $620 million and too cool to killa comedy about an actor impersonating an assassin, which grossed $390 million worldwide.
Before the pandemic, the Chinese film industry was doing well, expanding in various sectors. It broke several records in 2019 with box office figures reaching $9.3 billion, the number of films produced exceeding 1,000, and the number of viewers exceeding 1.727 billion people. The China Film Co-Production Corporation has made some progress in bringing its industry back to pre-pandemic levels. In 2021, its box office revenue was $7.4 billion and its audience was 1.167 billion. However, the rebound was not without stumbles as Warner Brothers The Batman was to have a truncated release in the country in March due to a resurgence of COVID in the country.
China wanted to cut Spider-Man: The Statue of Liberty scene from No Way Home – and Sony refused