×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

BFI Leads U.K. Delegation to Beijing Festival

Britain joins global China rush, but film trade trip comes at sensitive political moment.

HONG KONG – The U.K. will this week lead its first major film trade delegation to China to take part in the Beijing Film Festival, which kicks off Wednesday.

The trade delegation is organized by the British Film Institute (BFI) BFI in partnership with the British Council, China Britain Business Council (CBBC), the British Embassy, the British Council and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).

Some 12 leading British talent agents, producers, distributors, film sales companies, exhibitors, and representatives from the BFI, the British Film Commission and BBC Worldwide will meet with representatives from the private and public sectors of China’s film industry.

The BFI has identified China as a priority territory for the UK film industry. It is seen as offering opportunities across co-production, export and cultural exchange to drive growth, creatively, culturally and commercially.

Last December, BFI Chief Executive Officer Amanda Nevill joined British Prime Minister David Cameron’s trade delegation to China during which a landmark co-production treaty was agreed in principle. The treaty is expected soon to be signed and ratified. 

The more educationally-oriented British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) is making similar outreach moves in Asia and is establishing a foothold in Hong Kong, where it has held a number of recent events.

Political relations between the two countries can be tricky. This week China cancelled a bilateral human rights dialog, which PM Cameron had highlighted as one of the “important achievements” of the December trip. “The UK should stop using human rights issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs,” China’s foreign ministry said on Monday, a reference to UK support for NGOs and the U.K.’s participation in a UN Human Rights Council meeting that examined China’s human rights record. In 2012 China enforced a diplomatic freeze after Cameron met with the Dalai Lama. In 2010 China also halted dialog with the U.K. after London criticized Beijing over the execution of a British citizen who was convicted of drug smuggling, but was believed to have mental health problems.

Other countries are beating a path to the door of the Chinese industry. The BJIFF will have a strong section of French films and formally celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and China. Screen Australia last week took part in Australia’s largest ever trade delegation to China.

More Film

  • The Wolf Hour

    Shanghai Film Review: 'The Wolf Hour'

    Run a finger along any of the surfaces in Alistair Banks Griffin’s sophomore feature “The Wolf Hour,” and it will come up slicked with sweat, grime and the residual soot of the city. It is the summer of 1977,  and it’s hotter than hell. June Leigh (Naomi Watts) perches on the window sill of the [...]

  • The Christmas Gift

    'The Christmas Gift,' 'Guaxuma,' 'King Wah' Win Top Awards at Palm Springs ShortFest

    The Palm Springs International ShortFest wrapped Sunday with top prizes going to “The Christmas Gift,” directed by Bogdan Muresanu, for best of the festival, Nara Normande’s “Guaxuma” for best international short and Horatio Baltz’s “King Wah (I Think I Love You)” for best North American short. The festival is the largest shorts-focused event in North [...]

  • Vortex

    Shanghai Film Review: 'Vortex'

    Official statistics imply that violent crime is close to an all-time low across China today, but you would hardly guess as much from the glut of commercial-leaning crime and gangster movies that the Middle Kingdom is producing and, as often as not, given the accessibility of the genre and the historical pedigree of Asian action [...]

  • Box Office: Toy Story 4 Opens

    Box Office: 'Toy Story 4' Launches Overseas With $120 Million, 'Aladdin' Clears $800 Million

    Disney’s summer box office slate continues to dominate over other studios as “Toy Story 4” launches overseas with a solid $120 million and “Aladdin” crosses $800 million in ticket sales. Disney and Pixar’s latest “Toy Story” entry led international box office charts when it debuted in 37 foreign territories. It also dwarfed the competition in [...]

  • Toy Story 4 Box Office: Pixar

    Box Office: 'Toy Story 4' Dominates With $118 Million Debut

    Disney’s domination over the box office only seemed to strengthen this weekend as “Toy Story 4” easily topped box office charts. The fourth entry in Pixar’s animated series collected $118 million in ticket sales when it debuted in 4,575 North American theaters. While that haul is significantly below expectations – early estimates initially anticipated a [...]

  • Shanghai international Film Festival closing ceremony

    Iran's 'Castle of Dreams' Sweeps Shanghai Golden Goblet Award Ceremony

    China’s top film festival showered its highest three honors on the Iranian film “Castle of Dreams,” hours after American President Donald Trump said the U.S. would on Monday impose “major additional sanctions” on Tehran. The drama about family, separation and keeping one’s promises, collected a trio of prizes on Sunday night at the Shanghai International [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content