Chinese keen for co-productions with Indian filmmakers

NEW DELHI: Nine latest Chinese films including one based in Tibet are being screened in a reciprocal festival of films from China beginning Friday.

Organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals in collaboration with the China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) and the Chinese Embassy, the Festival will be inaugurated by Chinese ambassador Zhang Yan and Information and Broadcasting ministry secretary Asha Swarup.

The opening film is Gun of Mercy by Xiao Feng who will also be present in the festival.

A high-level Chinese delegation is here to attend the festival, led by SARFT Director General Tong Gang. Other members besides Feng include Luan Guochi who is director of the SARFT’s International Cooperation in the Film Bureau, film director Zhang Jianya and actress Liu Yiwel of the film Call for Love, actress Jiang Wu of Gun of Mercy, and Lu Hongshi, vice-president of the China Movie Channel CCTV-6, and SARFT Digital Film Programme deputy director general Mao Yu.

Addressing a press meet, Gang said the Chinese government was keen to strengthen coperation and co-productions in the field of cinema and this would be discussed further with members of the Indian film industry in Mumbai later this week.

The delegation had also visited the National Film Development Corporation. He said China would also like to see Indian films released in theatres and through DVDs in their country and vice versa. Furthermore, Indian films could be shown on CCTV-6, he added.

Directorate of Film Festivals director Neelam Kapur said a Festival of Indian films had been held in Beijing and Shanghai about 18 months earlier. She said the reciprocal festival had been delayed, as India wanted a delegation to accompany the films, and also wanted to ensure that the Festival did not clash with any other festival.

Apart from Gun of Mercy and Call for Love, the other films being screened are Fearless (Ronny Yu), The Banquet (Feng Xiaogang), Courthouse on the Horseback (Liu Jie), The Silent Holy Stones (Wanma Caidan from Tibet), A world without thieves (Feng Xiaogang), Honeymoon (Chen Jun) and Perhaps Love’ (Peter Ho-Sun Chan).

She said the films had been screened at the recent International Mumbai Film Festival organised by the Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image(Mami). Xie Fei, cultural counsellor of the Chinese Embassy, was also present at the press meet.

Gang said in reply to a question that the Chinese government would give full help to any Indian producer wanting to shoot in China. Furthermore, any co-production will be given the same benefits if exemption from customs or distribution tax as given to quality domestic films.

Noting that films like Awaara and Caravan were still remembered in China, he said the Raj Kapoor film was shown by CCTV-6 in February.

In reply to another question, he said the Government gave special funds for promoting the showing of films in the rural areas of the country and the aim was that at least one film should be released in every village every month. Under this programme, 60 per cent of the villages had been covered so far. Filmmakers also got a subsidy if they released their films in rural areas.

He said that the Chinese Government helped the film industry by giving money for production of quality films and by promoting distribution and exhibition. A percentage of the revenue from advertisements on television was collected by the Government and used to produce good films, while a five per cent tax was collected on each ticket and used for distribution or exhibition purpose.

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