Young filmmakers add vitality to China's film market
Yang Yiming, a 25-year-old screenwriter, promoted his first movie script "After Class" to investors on the stage at the Golden Rooster Films project market. After a 20-minute introduction and Q&A, several film producers showed great interest in his script.
"We're new hands in the film industry. We've gained a lot from the project market for we can hear valuable opinions from both the investors and directors directly," Yang said.
The 2023 China Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival, which featured the 36th China Golden Rooster Awards, was held in the city of Xiamen, east China's Fujian Province. The film festival's main activities included a film project market, film screenings and academic forums.
The film project market, established five years ago, has gradually become the main platform for film newcomers, investors and producers to meet and communicate.
This year, the market received 1,006 projects, of which 843 are original screenplays, while 661 are directorial debuts. Most of the project creators were born in the 1980s and 1990s.
The majority of works focus on reality, but martial arts, sports, biography, history, and military are also among the diversified themes at this year's project market.
The film project market is just an epitome of China's overall film industry. In recent years, more and more young filmmakers are emerging in China, and they have produced a series of excellent domestic films, adding fresh vitality to China's film landscape.
Zhang Aigong, associate professor in the School of Film of Xiamen University, said that young filmmakers cover various genres such as science fiction, drama, suspense, mythology and animation, which enriches the offerings of the film market and meets the diversified needs of audiences. This fully demonstrates the creative vitality of China's young filmmakers and the recovery of China's film market.
Zhang added that several phenomenon-level works from young filmmakers that focus on reality and value Chinese traditional culture continued to appear this year, which is a good sign that fuels expectations concerning the prospects of Chinese films.
According to Maoyan, a Chinese movie-ticketing and film data platform, as of Friday, China's box office (including pre-sale) revenue for 2023 had exceeded 49.4 billion yuan (about 6.88 billion U.S. dollars), over 2 billion yuan more than the annual total box office revenue in 2021. Five of the top 10 films on the annual box office chart this year are from young directors, including sci-fi blockbuster "The Wandering Earth II" and suspense thriller "Lost in the Stars."
China's prosperous film industry provides great opportunities for young filmmakers. Since 2015, China's film market has experienced significant growth, surpassing the North American market, which had long been the world's leading market, in two indicators, namely number of moviegoers and number of screens. In both 2020 and 2021, China's box office revenue exceeded that of the North American market, ranking first in the world.
"This summer, total box office, single month box office and number of moviegoers, all broke Chinese film industry records, which fully proves the vitality and potential of China's film market," Zhang said.
"China's film market is very exciting. We are at the best of times in the development of China's film industry, which gives young filmmakers like us courage to write something new, interesting and unique. We want to seize the opportunities and make more good domestic films," Yang said.
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