Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong increase ties through filmmaking

China 24

Filmmakers from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong have established increasingly close ties in big screen productions over the last two decade.

It’s helped the mainland movie industry mature and the Hong Kong side expand.

CGTN’s Song Wei has more.

Hong Kong has one of the largest and most dynamic film entertainment industries in the world.

The last three decades of the 20th century are seen as its “Golden Age”, with more than 300 films produced each year.

Its cop-gangster, action and comedy films built a solid fan base across Asia and captured a fair share of the regional market.

Once dubbed as the “Oriental Hollywood,” Hong Kong cultivated a highly commercialized model for its film industry.

The 1997 Asian financial crisis, however, was a heavy blow and marked the beginning of a downward slide.

“We kept repeating the same comedy and action themes and started losing audiences because of our lack of innovation,” said Ng See Yuen, Chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Filmmakers. “And the overseas market which we had depended so heavily shrank at the time of the economic crash.”

At the same time, the mainland movie industry began an in-depth reform and stepped into the market, attracting a growing amount of private capital.

Many Hong Kong filmmakers started heading north, looking for a way to fit into the mainland market. Some of them succeeded in getting their foot in the door.

“We need this market,” Gordon Chan, a Hong Kong film director said. “Its size might help us stand up again in the world film market.”

“The involvement of privately-owned companies has injected more capital into Hong Kong movies,” Huang Jianxin, a mainland film director said. “The mainland companies look for scriptwriters and directors in Hong Kong, while Hong Kong filmmakers look for investment in the mainland. This interaction has gained a momentum. ”

Cooperation between Hong Kong filmmakers and their mainland counterparts has great potential: while the former bring their filmmaking experience, the latter could offer knowledge of what mainland audiences want to see in theaters.

An increasing number of movies are being co-produced by Hong Kong and mainland film companies — on average, more than 50 a year.