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June 12, 2015

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Home » City specials » Hangzhou

Hangzhou reaches out to world through film

AMONG the 15 films shortlisted for the Golden Goblet Award at this year’s Shanghai Internation Film Festival is “The Dead End,” a film directed by Cao Baoping and produced by Hangzhou-based Dreamsky Film Group.

Staring Deng Chao, Duan Yihong and Guo Chao, the crime thriller centers around two law enforcement authorities and three brothers who together try to raise an orphan girl.

“The Dead End” is the first film produced by Dreamsky. The film will be screened at the Shanghai International Film Festival on June 19, and is slated to receive a wide release later this year.

According to Dreamsky CEO Wu Huijun, “We spent four years on (this film), and I believe it is a top work.”

This isn’t the first time Hangzhou’s nascent film industry has gained attention at the SIFF. In 2011, Hangzhou-based director Su Jiaming took home the Grand Short and Best Documentary prizes for the film “Fading Flowers.” “The Silent War,” written by Hangzhou-based Mai Jia, was screened the following year.

Film is becoming an increasingly important form of entertainment in Hangzhou, where 43 new cinemas have opened over the last five years.

“The number of cinema-goers in the city has increase hugely in recent years,” says Huang Yulong, general manager of Hangzhou Muhoo Cultural Creation Company, which organized the Hangzhou Asian Film Festival from 2009 to 2014.

“Watching films was once something special — even something luxurious — and now it’s as normal as going to a restaurant,” adds Huang.

For Hangzhou, film has also become an important medium of cultural exchange with the wider world.

Earlier this month, the Nice-Hangzhou Film Week was held in the city. During the event, eight French movies were exhibited, including several filmed in Nice. A similar event will take place in Nice later this year, when eight movies filmed in Hangzhou or made with local talent will be screened in the southern French city. Scheduled to open the series is “If You Are the One,” a romantic comedy which includes scenes filmed at Hangzhou’s Xixi Wetlands.

This film exchange is the first event of its kind between Hangzhou and Nice, which became sister cities in 1998. Looking ahead, local authorities hope such events can help raise the city’s cultural profile abroad.

“Culture exchanges between China and other countries are somewhat unbalanced. But this mutual film week gives us an equal opportunity to promote our own culture,” says Xiao Jun of the Hangzhou Administration of Culture, Radio, TV and Film.

On the French side, Cyril Doutre, an official with the Nice government says, “People from both cities are not familiar with each other, yet film is a convenient way of promoting culture — the film week in Hangzhou has proved that.”

Film festival organizers talk about power of cinema

How has cinema influenced Hangzhou? Shanghai Daily asked three members of Hangzhou Muhoo Cultural Creation Company to get their take on the importance of film.

Huang Yulong, general manager

Film curation is immature on China’s mainland. We are trying to make it better and become more influential, at least in this city. As a young team of curators, we feel obliged to be cautious, conscientious and professional.

Yao Yingjin, news officer

Film is popular, while art is not. Notting Hill is a small area, but is known worldwide because of movies. Hopefully one day the same can be true about Hangzhou.

Chen Yilie,
producing director

If film is a dream, the whole world is inside it. I would like to weave a dream for people who share my interests and passions.


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