Film industry should export Chinese cultural products and promote influences overseas

Mr. Ren Zhonglun, President of Shanghai Film Group.

A high-ranking official with a major Chinese film group said Wednesday that the country’s film industry should take the lead in exporting Chinese cultural products and promoting their influences overseas.

“Among various kinds of art forms, films possess the most convenient influences on the export of Chinese culture. Chinese films should seek common ground with audiences across the world regarding their content and adopt modern technology and marketing experiences overseas,” said Ren Zhonglun (任仲伦), president of Shanghai Film Group Corporation (SFGC), in an interview with Xinhua.

Ren’s comment came after the Communist Party of China approved a landmark guideline in October last year aiming to make the cultural industry “a pillar of the national economy” and promote Chinese culture worldwide.

SFGC collaborated with the movie-making company Technicolor Group recently in the making of “Uproar in Heaven,” a 3D animated feature film based on the traditional Chinese story of Monkey King.

The film features part of the novel when Monkey King caused turmoil in heaven and defeated an army of 100,000 celestial soldiers, led by the Four Heavenly Kings. Monkey King was subdued by Buddha and later became a protector of a Buddhist monk Xuan Zang during his pilgrimage to India during the Tang dynasty (618-907).

Technicolor Group is famous for making the special effects for blockbusters such as “Avatar,” “2012” and the Harry Potter franchise.

According to Ren, Technicolor Group even developed special software to ensure the fluency and stereoscopic effect of the film in a way that is different from that used in Disney animations.

Ren emphasized the importance of open-minded attitude and self-confidence in cooperating with foreign filmmakers.

“The American film industry has been paying high attention to the Chinese factor. In the past, American film studios cared about how they could explore Chinese market, but now they tend to focus on investing in Chinese films,” Ren said.

In 2012, SFGC will present “Shen Qi,” or “Amazing,” a basketball-themed film that will feature characters played by NBA stars such as Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony and Yao Ming.

According to Ren, the English title of the film was named by David Stern, commissioner of the NBA.