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How far is it for the internationalization of Chinese film and television industry? Interview with Shen Jianing, Assistant President of China International Television Corporation

2018-06-21 16:12

 

From May 17th-19th, the 15th China International Film and TV Program Exhibition guided by the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT), sponsored by the Central Radio and TV Station (CRTS), and organized by the China International Television Corporation (CITVC) and the China Radio, Film and Television Programs Exchanging Center was grandly held at the Beijing Exhibition Center.

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This year marks the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up. Over the past 40 years, China's film and television industry has achieved brilliant achievements, and its position and influence in the international community are also increasing. As the organizer of the exhibition, CITVCC and its subsidiaries at all levels have achieved fruitful results in recent years in accelerating the internationalization of Chinese film and television and expanding overseas markets for film and television programs. During the program exhibition, the reporter specially interviewed Shen Jianing, the assistant president of CITVC and the general manager of the CHNPEC, who introduced the efforts made and the results achieved by the CITVC in the international development of China's film and television industry. 

The themes of China's "going abroad" programs are becoming increasingly diversified 

In recent years, the pace of development of domestic film and television programs has been accelerating, and the themes and types of outstanding film and television programs have gradually become diversified. During the exhibition, CITVC together with its 10 subsidiaries exhibited a variety of works such as the documentaries "Smart Life", "The Third Pole", "Great Wall" (International Edition), and "Long March" (International Version), TV series "The People's Own Army", "New Horizon", "Too good to be married", "Here to Heart" and "All out of love", cartoon "The Big Head Son and Small Head Father (New)", VR works "Walking in China" and so on. 

CITVC has made great achievements in terms of overseas distribution. With a rich reserve of program resources, it sells more than 20,000 hours of TV dramas, documentaries, cartoons, variety shows, and special topics programs overseas each year, which are effectively broadcast in more than 200 countries and regions. Shen Jianing gave an example: "Last year, CITVC broadcast the TV drama "Journey to the West" (Nepali version) in Nepal with an average audience rating of over 34.5% and causing a great stir locally. The Nepal National News Agency and the Nepal News Agency pushed the broadcast of the drama as important news, making it a hot topic among local people."

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She said that compared with previous years, the number of programs of realist themes "going abroad" has improved significantly. The film and television dramas created on the themes of real life can reflect changes in the society in China and attract the attention of foreigners. "Last year's realistic television dramas "Mr. Right" and "Stay with Me" have achieved good response after broadcast abroad. In particular, the modern drama "Revelation of Life"  won the championship of audience rating for several days in a row in Mongolia." 

The two major organizations help film and television industry join hands to go abroad

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In August 2016, CCTV and CITVC initiated the Silk Road Media Community. According to Shen Jianing, "This is the first comprehensive alliance of production companies and broadcast platforms, including the national television stations under China's Belt and Road initiative. We have successfully conducted three simulcasts in the member countries of the Community and cooperated with the national strategic plan to continuously expand the influence of Chinese film and television programs in the Belt and Road countries." 

Following the "Silk Road Media Community", in order to further expand the overseas distribution matrix and enhance the effectiveness of external communications, CITVC again initiated the "Film and TV Import and Export Association" in November 2017. Shen Jianing said, "The establishment of the FTIEA has received high attention from the CPC Central Committee's Publicity Department and the SARFT. At present, it has attracted more than 50 film and television companies and organizations to join in. We are making great efforts to develop and expand the business of the FTIEA and are committed to becoming an important leveler to promote China's film and television culture to go out in the new era."

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Recently, CITVC also became the first company in Beijing that had implemented the "zero tax rate" policy for exports. According to Shen Jianing, they will share the successful experience with the members of the FTIEA and help more companies implement the preferential policies for film and television export.

"In the past, the various companies worked on their own on the internationalization of film and television, and the results were not so significant. Now, CITVC hopes to take the lead in unifying these companies together into an organization to further improve their own right of speech." Shen Jianing said that after the establishment of FTIEA, it has already organized and hosted forums for exchange of Chinese and foreign TV dramas in Cannes and Portugal. In the future, the FTIEA plans to organize members to jointly participate in and send excellent works to domestic and foreign film festivals and exhibitions. "China's film and television industry must be unified together in order to achieve good results in going abroad." (Source: CCTV news client, revised.)