English-language portal targets export market
HONG KONG — China’s Film Bureau has teamed up with China Radio International to set up a foreign-language website to promote Chinese films overseas, a move that further underlines the country’s growing ambitions abroad.China made 450 films last year but, with some exceptions, very few actually make it beyond the country’s borders and those that do usually end up at festivals or find small markets within the Chinese diaspora. Mainland China’s B.O. is set to top 10 billion yuan ($1.46 billion) this year, but the government, which effectively controls the mainland Chinese biz, has long been keen to develop an overseas market — it is the world’s biggest exporter after all. The site gives a useful overview of the structure of the Chinese biz, containing descriptions of shingles and distribs and contact information. Crucially the information is in English. One of the complaints that many overseas shingles have about trying to do business in China is dealing with the language barrier. The website, http://www.chinesefilms.cn, was launched at Hong Kong Filmart by the territory’s chief secretary, Henry Tang Ying-yen, and was attended by Tong Gang, director of the Bureau of Film Administration and around 100 government officials and various celebrities. Film Bureau chief Mr Tong said that Chinese film had made “considerable progress in art direction, new technology and industrialized reform.” The Internet provided another outlet for this. It is operated by China Film Promotion International, which is the overseas sales arm of China Film Group, and CRI Online, the online section of China Radio International.