China is home to many prestigious filmmakers, most of whom are internationally recognized for participating in international film festival competitions. Many of their works are familiar to foreign audiences. However, in mainland China, the situation is totally different. Their works are usually not able to be released in mainland China through the film censorship system set up by the Chinese government, but they are widely concerned in Hong Kong and Taiwan, where are also Chinese-speaking areas.
China’s film censorship system can be considered to be the most stringent in the world. Once it comes to the subject matter of so-called sensitive topics, it is difficult to obtain a project approval, much less attaining a screening license approved by the SARFT（State Administration of Radio Film and Television）. In addition to the fact that movies cannot be “justified”, filmmakers often have to face the pressure exerted by the authorities，sometimes they have to making their film secretly or they have to stop producing. The International Film Festival has thus become the hopes of these Chinese filmmakers.
Their works are not only discussing the problems of the Chinese society, but to showcase the artistic expression their works have conveyed. They have chances to be affirmed through such opportunities, and they can also get a group of loyal viewers belonging to them.
There is an examples here, Zhang Yuan, an independent filmmaker at earlier time, his early works could not get a play license in China, but he won 36 awards in various international awards and more than 15 times entered major competitions in the three major European film festivals. He also won the United Nations Cultural Peace Prize. Many of his works reflect the Chinese people’s life and mental state after several intensive political reforms in China. After receiving a group of audience, he also received sponsorship to make other films. It is gratifying that some of his works have also won awards at some local film festivals in mainland China. There are also many young viewers and filmmakers in China who are deeply influenced by him.
Shanghai International film festivals are hosted every year which also attracts many international filmmakers, however, it is ironic to say this festival wants to promote cultural diversity or professional exchanges since there are not much freedom for Chinese filmmakers, however, it does enhance the city brand and mainland china film industry.