Hollywood shadow looms large over Shanghai fest panel

SHANGHAI — A major theme at this year’s Shanghai Film Festival has been how Chinese filmmakers will deal with the extra pressure from Hollywood now that the quota for foreign films has been relaxed.

Filmmakers attending a fest forum said they hope that by adopting new media they can help boost Chinese films. Locals are feeling the pressure since the quota of foreign movies allowed into the country on a revenue-share basis was raised from around 20 to 34 including 3D and Imax pix.

“The next five years will be the last chance for Chinese movies,” said Yu Dong, topper of China’s biggest privately held production house, Bona Film Group. He said Hollywood snagged 97% of the box office in April. “We will see even more impact next year.”

Gong Yu, CEO of online video platform qiyi.com, said salvation lay in new media.

“For those low-budget, creative films, new media will prove a very efficient way to generate income,” he said.

However, these channels are still developing and their income is largely advertising-based.

“It is very difficult for Chinese films to give up on the traditional cinema market,” Yu said.

Liu Chun, chief operating officer of Sohu Video, warned, “All the traditional media and production companies are looking for a way to be ‘new media-ized,’ to have new business, so there are bubbles developing in the market.”

One of the biggest figures in Chinese cinema, helmer Feng Xiaogang, unveiled the trailer for his latest project, “Remembering 1942,” which features Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins.

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