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China fest hits one million mark

Seven-day event unspools in Zibo for first time

ZIBO, China — The 7th Chinese Intl.Children’s Film Festival, the country’s only official showcase for kids, sold close to one million tickets according to local festival authorities.

The seven-day fest, which wrapped Thursday, screened 27 features from 14 countries, including U.S. product “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “Chicken Run” and “Shrek,” along with Dutch director Vincent Bals’ “Mineos” and Danish director Caecilia Holbaek Trier’s “Send More Candy.”

“Close to 120,000 children bought the $1.30 festival pass with tickets for seven films,” said vice secretary general Lu Xin Zhang, of the Zibo Municipal People Government. That’s half the normal $2.60 to see special movies such as “Harry Potter,” against 65 cents for an ordinary cinema ticket.

Fest unspooled in Zibo, in the Shandong Province, for the first time. It was chosen to host the festival — and 21 international guests — because it has introduced film and television education at primary school, according to vice president Junzheng Wang, of the Chinese Children’s Film Association. The city spent $13 million refurbishing 19 theaters for the event.

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