The One Belt, One Road Initiative of China now is becoming more than just roads, bridges and ports. At an increasing speed it’s becoming a project that helps export one of China’s fastest-growing industries: the movie industry.
CGTN’s Shen Li reports.
China is taking its chances and investing heavily to make its mark on the entertainment landscape in Belt and Road countries like Nepal and Kazakhstan.
The State Administrative of Press, Publication Radio Film and Television China’s media regulator launched the initiative in 2013 to promote cultural exchanges with OBOR countries, including co-productions and translation of movies and television dramas.
BJ-based Shinework Media has an entire Belt and Road slate of productions planned. And many of those movies are being produced with help from experts along the route. Examples include a China-Kazakhstan co-production, and a sports drama in Brazil.
“At the Silk Road Film Festival we announced the co-production between China and Kazakhstan. The film, called “Composer”, is about famous Chinese composer Xian Xinghai and I think that’s the best way to start the co-production because the Chinese film market is very important for us, as we are close neighbors. So that’s why we are starting to make a common base together, ” Diana Ashimova, cofounder of Kazakhstan Cinema LLP said.
However working with Belt and Road countries can be different from working with Hollywood.
“Differences of working with OBOR countries and Hollywood,” Brendan David, director of Special Ops, Bangbang Pictures said.
If Chinese films are to compete in the global market, apart from widening the distribution channel, the content is also key.
“As far as Chinese films traveling overseas, there’s a lot of talk about…soft power is all about soft not power…” David said.
Thanks to the OBOR initiative, it’s the start of Chinese commercial films integrating with the international market. Whether it will spark a next boom in the Chinese film industry is too soon to tell, but it surely takes us one step further.