Chinese Film Festival opens in Delhi, Jackie Chan wins hearts

NEW DELHI: Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari has expressed the hope that an agreement would be reached soon for co-production of films with China.

He said that cinema is a great medium to strengthen and substantiate relations amongst people of the two countries.

While films of Raj Kapoor and some other veterans have been popular for decades in China, the film 3 Idiots was dubbed in Chinese and proved to be a great hit in that country, he added.

The Minister along with Chinese Minister of State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television Cai Fuchao were jointly inaugurating a six-day Chinese Film Festival at Sirifort Auditorium here. Matinee idol Jackie Chan, whose film Chinese Zodiacopened the festival, was the guest of honour. Chinese Ambassador to India Wei Wei, I&B secretary Uday Kumar Varma, and Indo-China Economic Council president P S Deodhar were also present.

Tewari said the time appeared ripe for intensive sharing of films as a potent medium of exchange. “I believe that considering the popularity of Indian films in China, there would be more exposure for Indian films in China in the future, and vice-versa. I am confident that this interaction with the Chinese counterparts would prove to be fruitful and the two countries look forward to agreement on co production in films, as also cooperation in the fields of radio and television An audio visual agreement would not only promote our shooting locations, but will also boost film related tourism between the two countries and hence pave for a more vibrant people-to-people contact,” he added.

The Minister announced that since 2014 marked sixty years of the enunciation of Panchsheel or the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the year would be marked as the Year of Exchanges between India and China.

Speaking earlier, the Chinese Information Minister said Chinese movies would offer an opportunity for Indian audiences to be acquainted with Chinese landscape, Arts, Music and culture. He further added that this would also enable citizens of both nations to view Indo-China relationship from a broader perspective. He noted that both countries shared cultural similarities.

The Chinese Minister announced that an Indian film festival would soon be held in China 

Speaking at the event, Chan said amid loud cheers that he was touched by his popularity in India. He rendered a Chinese song he had composed around two years earlier, ‘Country my Country, Home my Home’, which he said was in Chinese but would find empathy with everyone. He claimed that over ten million downloads of the song had already been done all over the world.

Earlier addressing a press meet, actor Jackie Chan who is based in Hong Kong stressed the need to screen movies in India and China which talk about the need to strive for peaceful co-existence between the two neighbours.

He said, “We cannot choose our neighbours. In fact, we should love each other; why hate each other? Through films we need to promote peace,” replying to a question on the recent border tension.

Dressed in an immaculate white dress, the bespectacled actor said he did not want to be seen as a martial arts actor but as someone in the league of Hollywood actor Robert De Nero.

The actor, whose martial arts — not withstanding his comic fight sequences — has been compared with the legendary actor Bruce Lee, admitted that he held the late actor in high regard: “When I was young I used to watch him do his action sequences.”

Chan – who came to India a decade ago to make The Myth - said it was a successful venture not only in China but across the globe: “I shot the film for a month here. During this period, I watched a lot of television and was impressed with all the singing and dancing. I loved the music of 3 Idiots and wanted to dance with co-actor Mallika Sherawat for the Indian version of The Myth.”

The actor is open to the idea of doing a Bollywood film which has traditional song and dance routines provided the writer must have the ability to make the people understand Indian culture.

“Ordinary people in China do not understand Indian culture… I am just waiting and hoping that some Indian director understands that I am a pretty good actor and not just a fighter.”

“I like cooperation but the script is very important. We will make one version for India and the other for the rest of the world,” he said.

The festival is being supported by Huawei Telecommunications India which claims to be the largest telecommunications equipment maker in the world.

The movies being showcased at the festival include the latest offering, The Grandmastersfrom Wong Kar-Wai, internationally renowned as an auteur for his visually unique, highly stylised, and emotionally resonant cinema. And Back to 1942 by Feng Xiaogang, the Chinese film director, who besides being a highly successful commercial filmmaker, has also made comedic films which have consistently done well on the box office. He has also attempted to break out from that mould by making drama or period drama films recently. This film premiered at the International Rome Film Festival in 2012.

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