The dilemma and another possibility of Chinese film festival’s development

Film festivals are of great significance to the promotion of a country’s film industry. A first-class international film festival can attract world-class works and create internationally renowned stars. Therefore, it may be possible to use the internationalization of local festivals to push Chinese films around the world.

A lot of people who do film festivals abroad have a question: why are films never the most important thing in Chinese film festivals? Mr. Bailey, the Toronto film festival’s President and a former judge at the Beijing film festival, could not understand why he had not seen a filmmaker so long in Beijing. In Toronto, all the filmmaker and stars are in the audience, which is the vitality of the film festival. There is a great number of mainland actors or actress who attend international film festivals have no excellent film work at all, and the only thing they do is to walk the red carpet, while many international directors are still not used to the spotlight.

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It has long been accepted that Chinese film festivals have low international visibility. As the most well-known international film festivals in China, Shanghai international film festival, Beijing international film festival and Hong Kong international film festival have far less influence than the international status of these cities themselves.

By contrast, Europe’s three main film festivals all have the clear positioning and distinct styles. Cannes film festival always lets a person shine at the moment. it will not only to praise of many independent movies, an increasing number of female filmmakers figure also appeared on the platform. It has been the political and personal declaration platform, the most prominent is its strong humanism thought.  The Venice film festival, with the aim of “film as serious art service”, is famous for its radical and innovative spirit. It is the oldest A-level film festival in the world. It is more about the artistry, depth, criticalness, and thoughtfulness of the film than it is about entertainment. In addition, it focuses on film experimenters in various countries and encourages them to make films with novel forms and unique techniques. The Berlin film festival is a platform for dialogue between audience and authority. It positioned itself as a mirror for international film production, making the festival an important cultural and political role in the convergence and mediation between east and west.

Thus it can be seen that positioning is the first problem to be solved for Chinese film festivals to go international. As China’s top three international film festivals, the Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong film festivals are rooted in the “Beijing regions”, “Shanghai regions” and the international cultural regions, respectively. They have different characteristics. In terms of positioning, they should highlight both internationalization and Chinese cultural elements. Their internationalization must be based on the domestic market. Without the development and prosperity of the domestic film industry internationalization can only be a hollow phrase. Whether the creation of young film workers is encouraged at the policy level or they are inclined to these young directors in terms of funds, Chinese film going to the world is not achieved by simply expressing “Normal human values” and “national characteristics” but is a systematic project. It needs a group of young film workers with an international vision and an accurate grasp of international market trends, and also need the supporting from the government and the public. What needs to be seen is that this process requires international perspectives and Chinese expressions and encourages young filmmakers with Chinese and western cultural backgrounds to create.

The emergence of FIRST youth film festival and Pingyao international film festival has witnessed the attempts and efforts of domestic filmmakers in the above aspects, which seems to be the rising road of China’s private film festival. Although Chinese private film festivals are still a minority and there is still a long way to go before they gain some international recognition and voice, the Chinese films themselves are bound to go through a process of “born from barbarism, vigorous, spontaneous, but ultimately must return to reason”.

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