Forum explores films that communicate across cultures

Updated: Oct 18, 2021 Print
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Yan Zhaozhu (center), chairman of the Taihu World Cultural Forum, director Xu Zheng, director Stanley Tong, and Long Huilei, chairman of Heguang Media, attend the forum on Oct 12, 2021. [Photo provided to]

A forum on film production and development was held in Bengbu, East China's Anhui province, on Tuesday, as part of the sixth annual conference of the Taihu World Cultural Forum that seeks to deepen cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world.

"Forum on World Film and Culture - Inheritance and Development" brought filmmakers and media experts from across the country together to share views on making better films that reach wider audiences from around the world.

"China urgently needs to better understand the world, and the world wants to understand China as well," said Yan Zhaozhu, chairman of the Taihu World Cultural Forum. He said he believes that films, as an important cultural carrier, bridge communication among different cultures.

Touching on making movies that could resonate with international audiences, director and actor Xu Zheng cited hit movie "Dying to Survive" as an example. "No matter what kind of movies we make, we are ultimately trying to describe the fates of human. Then it's been a goal that we all want to achieve in scriptwriting: to find the common feelings between destinies. That is, empathy," said Xu.

"Dying to Survive" is based on the true story of a leukemia patient who bought unlicensed cancer drugs overseas for himself and many other patients in China. The 2018 Chinese hit touched audiences both in China and abroad, triggering resonation for struggling families who cannot afford life-saving medication.

China's movie industry has taken the lead in recovery from the impact of the pandemic. The country's box office revenue has exceeded 20 billion yuan ($3.07 billion) in 2020, with 83.72 percent coming from domestic productions.

Talking about future, Dong Ruifeng, director of the program department of the production center of the CCTV Film Channel, noted that it is crucial to support young filmmakers. Director Stanley Tong pointed out that he hopes Chinese filmmakers can be more in line with their counterparts from around the world, and improve filmmaking levels through using new technology and international cooperation.

The forum was supported by the program center of the CCTV Film Channel and the city government of Bengbu, and organized by Heguang Media and Bengbu's culture and tourism bureau.

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