There are more ‘Chinese elements’ in 2018 Cannes Film Festival than before, such as Ash Is Purest White directed by Jia Zhangke, Long Day’s Journey Into Night by young director Bi Wei, and Wei Shuzhen’s short film On the Border. As a Chinese, I found that Chinese young and middle-aged directors have become one focus group of the film festival; also the internal interaction between Chinese film and international film festival has deepened. This trend of change makes me reconsider the role and the significance of the International Film Festival for the Chinese film industry, cultural industry, and even international cultural exchanges.
Dina lordanova (2009) states that the film festival as an ‘exhibition site’ is a vital part of the entire film distribution chain, but it is still a platform used for professional exchanges mostly. For example, some short movies have exposure in front of the public by displaying it in the film festival, but the reputation and topic end after the film festival ends. Therefore, Lordanova (2009) believes that films have multiple distribution channels including participating in the festival, film festivals are not responsible for the film release. The original purpose of the film festival was to select outstanding movies, and to reward talent filmmakers, and to promote international film culture exchanges (D. Iordanova, pp. 24-25). With the industry development and time exchanges, the competition between film festivals began to become fierce. Hence the pure film awards could no longer support the development of the film festival.
I agree that the original role of the film festival is to serve as a springboard, the film festival has power on incubating talented film project, cultivating new forces in the film industry. For the creative young filmmakers’ view, the most significant constraint is the lack of funds. However, filmmakers have opportunities to raise funds or to participate in pre-sales of film programs so that funding problems are solved; movies are filmed successfully. Participating in the film festival can also attract international attention to the film and help the film reach the audience and the market.
Moreover, as a gatekeeper, the film festival has a strong guiding effect on film creation and industry demand structure adjustment. Professional film festivals attract high-quality film to participate. The films that can display at large-scale film festivals are worthy of measurement regarding artistry, ideology, and technology, and can promote the cross-cultural communication of film art in various countries.
The film festival can also promote the development of the urban industrial chain. The participating film dealers can prejudge the future market according to the price of the market transaction and the difficulty level, then adjust their type of film production, and formulate a new sales plan. The film festival involves local tourism, hotels, restaurants, transportation and other aspects, which can increase employment opportunities and generate substantial economic benefits. A significant feature of the International Film Festival development in recent years is the increasing focus on commercial operations. The film festival is primarily a convention and exhibition event. As the film festival matures, the film festival also pays more attention to strategic operations and professional services. For example, the Cannes Film Festival started its next operation on the closing day of the last film festival. The organizing committee has also established Cannes Village to facilitate exhibitors to publish, trade and sign to reach the needs of exhibitors. The Beijing International Film Festival as the most significant film trading market in Asia, the total amount of film transactions in the Beijing International Film Festival in 2018 is 26 billion yuan.
In 2017, the total annual box office of the Chinese Film Festival exceeded 55 billion yuan. This year’s Cannes Film Festival set up the “Cannes China Film Honor Award” for the first time. It can be seen that in the context of economic globalization, the world film festival is increasingly connected with the development of Chinese film festival, and the interaction is getting deeper. The Shanghai International Film Festival hosted by China and the Beijing International Film Festival is becoming more mature, the film festival is also developed as a combination of urban economic capital and film art.
Iordanova, D., 2009. The film festival circuit. Film festival yearbook 1: The festival circuit, pp.23-39.
黄昊 光明日报，戛纳电影节的场内场外 中国电影”逆势成长”受瞩目，2018年05月22日07:10