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The Beijing Film Market is a major component of the film festival this week. We spoke with its Managing Director, Caiyun Chen.
WHITEWALL: How would you describe the Beijing Film Market?
CAIYUN CHEN: China is the fastest growing and second largest film market in the world. In 2011, as part of an effort to further join the global film community, China agreed to increase the quota for foreign film imports from 20 to 34 a year (including 3D and IMAX films). In 2012, the total number of film screens increased by more than 3000 and daily growth in ticket sales hit a record high. Box office revenue for the Chinese film market reached 17.073 billion RMB in 2012, continuing an annual growth rate of nearly 30% for the last 5 years. Closely connected to the Beijing International Film Festival, the Beijing Film Market’s aim since April 2011 has been to be an international, professional, innovative, high-end and market-oriented platform. It is committed to integrating national and international resources to build a venue for exhibition and trade.
WW: What genres of film do you see as the most popular in Beijing?
CC: Comedies and Action Movies.
WW: What is the balance between interest in foreign and domestic films?
CC: Hollywood blockbusters have great box-office appeal in the domestic film market. Chinese genre films also perform well. Dark horses like “Lost in Thailand,” “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons” and “love is not blind” often perform as well or better than foreign films.
WW: How have you seen the Beijing Film Market change and grow since the first BJIFF in 2011? How do you see it continuing to grow?
CC: The 1st Beijing International Film Festival was held from April 23th to April 28th, 2011. The event attracted over seven hundred national and international film groups as well as more than two thousand industry guests and nearly one hundred thousand total participants. The Beijing Film Market was an important component of the festival; 334 film groups and over 860 professionals from around the world participated in negotiations at the event with a total contract amount of over 2.79 billion RMB (a national film festival record).
The 2nd Beijing Film Market at the Beijing International Film Festival consisted of an exhibition, the Project Pitches and Industry Project Road Show programs, a trade fair and signing ceremonies. Major media groups broadly reported the success and achievement of the 2nd Beijing Film Festival and Beijing Film Market. The Beijing Film Market attracted over 4000 national and international guests and 640 film groups. 21 project contracts were signed including six Chinese-International coproductions. The total amount signed at the event was over 5.27 billion RMB (roughly 836 million USD), an increase of over 88.7 percent over the previous year. In the newly launched Project Pitches program, 20 selected projects with excellent market potential were given awards and support. The 2nd Beijing Film Festival increased attendance from one hundred thousand to more than one million total participants and attracted attention from nearly one thousand major media outlets and websites.
The Beijing Film Market is maturing and aims to become a leading international film market. It will keep broadening its goals and acting as an anchor for the entire chain of film production in China. Beijing’s role will be to continue to scale-up the total amount and quality of film related business, industry involvement, and related service. The Beijing International Film Festival·Beijing Film Market is committed to building a high-class film trading event with increasing international influence.
WW: How do you see the Beijing Film Market’s place on the world’s stage?
CC: The Beijing Film Market is a national-level film market located in Beijing. It is committed to building a worldwide brand of cultural exchange with international standards, Chinese characteristics and Beijing style. The BFM is constructing a better platform for both Chinese and foreign film industry members to cooperate and communicate. It is no doubt an indispensable supplier and partner in the international mainstream film system.