New app brings Chinese cinema to new audiences

World Today

New App brings Chinese cinema to new Audiences

A new mobile app is bringing a long list of Chinese cinema and TV productions to the American audience. It’s called “Smart Cinema U.S.A.” And it’s being launched on the sidelines of the Chinese American Film and TV Festival going on in Los Angeles.

CGTN’s Ediz Tiansan reports.

China produces an increasing amount of big-budget-movies, but only a fraction meets the American audience. A new application called “Smart Cinema U.S.A.” aims to change that.

CEO Jack Gao took the stage at the 15th Chinese American Film and TV festival to announce its official launch. He said: “The Chinese movie finally gets an opportunity to be screened across North America, focusing not only the millions of overseas Chinese but also American friends who have considerable interest in Chinese culture.”

The non-Chinese audience will have access to English subtitles, as well as a commentary feature narrated by the famous Chinese American Comedian Joe Wong.

Joe Wong, one Comedian, told us: “When we do the commentary, we actually talk a lot about the time period, for example, if the movie is set in the 90s, we talk about the songs from the era, major events that affected people’s lives.”

The festival will continue to screen movies in Los Angeles until the end of November. And some of them are accessible for anyone to watch on their devices.

James Su, Director CAFF and CATF, said, “This year we are honored to cooperate with Smart Cinema. Despite traditional cinemas, we hope more U.S. audiences can see films through digital platforms during this year’s festival.”

Smart Cinema has already been operating in China for over a year, making nearly $4,000,000 in virtual ticket sales.

Unlike traditional streaming platforms based on membership, it sells individual tickets for each title, so that filmmakers also benefit from the royalties.

Although it’s limited to mobile devices and tablets, for now, some executives believe that the emerging 5G technology could make it more popular.

Guoqing Gu, Head of China Film Promotion International, said, “Audience can buy tickets and see the up to date movies through the internet. It’s very convenient. I believe the 5G technology will help boost the online film industry.”

And Chinese authorities say this new initiative could help bridge a cultural gap between two societies.

Shi Yuanqiang, Deputy Consul General at the Consulate General of the PRC in LA told us, “Through this platform (Smart Cinema), U.S. audience can see more Chinese movies conveniently. These Chinese movies can help more U.S. citizens know more about China and Chinese culture.”

China has been making strides to catch up with the world’s superpower in many fields, and it seems Smart Cinema may be its latest move in the area of entertainment.