BEIJING — It may be a man’s world at the moment, but Cindy Lin is a woman definitely going places in China. Her company, Infotainment China, is a pioneer in selling high-quality indie pics abroad, overcoming the traditional perception of women as power-free zones.
“Traditionally, a woman has less power in Chinese society, and it applies in the film industry as well,” says Lin. “To gain the same decisionmaking rights, a woman needs to work harder.
“Woman generally have less credibility in the workplace as China is a male-centric society where there is the assumption, ‘Woman, oh … stupid.’ ”
Lin’s focus is on smaller films and she only sells films she likes. Of around 250 pics made in China each year, about 80% of B.O. and investment goes into a small number of big films, such as “The Banquet” or “Curse of the Golden Flower,” leaving hundreds of smaller films competing for the 20% left over.
For a long time, Infotainment focused on selling indie Chinese films into international markets and avoided helping foreign movies gain access to China because of distribution problems, such as getting past the censor and rampant piracy.
Recent successes for Infotainment China’s approach include the sales of helmer Fang Gangliang’s “Story of Xiaoyan” to North America and Benelux, and Cao Baoping’s “Trouble Makers” to Mitchell LeBank Distribution in New York. Also gaining good feedback is “366 Footloose,” a 3-D animation project in production in Shenzhen.
“We live in an interesting age with the transformation of the economy, political issues and culture,” Lin says. “It inspires the artists who have many, many interesting stories to tell from the real life from what’s happening in China.”