×

Shanghai: China Market ‘Has Always Been a Turbulent One,’ Says Infotainment Chief (EXCLUSIVE)

Movie sales and distribution company Infotainment China comes to the Shanghai International Film Festival optimistic about Chinese audience trends, but gloomy about current business conditions.

“The market is bad and industry players are very pessimistic. I just hope it doesn’t get worse,” said Infotainment CEO Cindy Lin, though she noted that such periods of trouble are also just part of the cycle of business as usual in the territory.

“The China market has always been a turbulent one under strict government control, with many rises and falls,” she said. “Before, the market’s total volume was smaller, so when there was turbulence, the shock waves were also more contained. Now the market is bigger, so the impact of such waves are also more widely felt.”

One positive development for those in the art-house sector has been the growing influence of young audiences with more cosmopolitan tastes.

“The population of mainstream Chinese cinema-goers already includes people born after 2000, and thanks to the Chinese economy’s rapid development in the past 30 years, these young viewers’ tastes have really improved, and their understanding of film genres is much more diversified,” she said.

“In the past two years, art-house box office records have been broken again and again. Those of us who focus on the import and distribution of high-quality film are very pleased, since this is an indicator of the market’s diversification and urbanization.”

Lin says her firm has no special secret for success. “Selecting high-quality, unique movies that can both pass censorship and be commercially successful is the recipe that we believe will help us survive this low period.”

She was in the SIFF Market with three foreign titles: French comedy “Pure as Snow” and Japan’s “Farewell Song” and “Five Million Dollar Life.” The titles were acquired at Berlin, Hong Kong FilMart and Cannes.

“Pure as Snow” is an erotic comedy inspired by the Snow White fairytale, directed by Anne Fontaine (“The Innocents”), and starring Isabelle Huppert and Lou de Laage.

“Five Million Dollar Life” was written by Naomi Hiruta and directed by Sungho Moon. It tells the story of a young man who has survived a life-threatening disease thanks to donations, but is asked to give the money back when he decides to commit suicide to escape the pressures of his life. “Farewell Song” is a music-filled teen drama written and directed by Akihiko Shiota that tells the story of a love triangle between two young acoustic singer-songwriters and their roadie as they go on tour.

More Film

  • Neve CampbellVariety's Power of Women NY

    Neve Campbell Seeking SAG-AFTRA Board Seat on Matthew Modine Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

    Neve Campbell is running for a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as a member of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Campbell is best known for starring as Sidney Prescott in the “Scream” movies and as LeAnn Harvey in “House of Cards.” Her credits include “Skyscraper,” “Wild Things” and “The Craft.” Election ballots will [...]

  • Themba-Bhebhe

    Durban FilmMart’s Themba Bhebhe on Diversity: ‘We Are At a Crossroads’

    DURBAN–A new thematic strand at this year’s Durban FilmMart, Engage @ DFM, offers a series of think tanks and in-depth discussions concerning diversity and de-colonial approaches to and models for filmmaking. To head up the new initiative, the DFM tapped guest curator Themba Bhebhe, who has led the Diversity & Inclusion initiative at the last two editions of [...]

  • Durban Film Festival 2019 / Copyright

    South African Creatives Grapple Over Copyright Amendment Bill

    DURBAN–The South African government is planning to update its four-decade-old copyright legislation, but what that means for filmmakers was up for debate during a contentious and often heated session at the Durban FilmMart this week. While the Copyright Amendment Bill awaits the signature of President Cyril Ramaphosa, industry stakeholders remain divided over how the proposed [...]

  • 'The Lion King' Ruling Box Office

    'The Lion King' Ruling Box Office With Dazzling Debut at $180 Million

    Disney’s “The Lion King” has jolted the North American box office back to life with an opening weekend in the $180 million range, estimates showed Saturday. “The Lion King” will record the second-best opening of 2019 — and could replace “Incredibles 2,” which launched last year with $182.7 million, as the ninth biggest North American [...]

  • 'Tomb Raider' Star Simon Yam in

    'Tomb Raider' Star Simon Yam in Hospital After Stabbing

    Hugely popular Hong Kong actor, Simon Yam was stabbed while on stage Saturday at a presentation in Zhongshan, Guangdong province in southern China. He is in hospital recovering. The incident happened at the opening of a branch of the Beijing Easyhome building materials company, where Yam was a guest. A man was seen rushing on [...]

  • Brazilian President Jair Bolosnaro attends the

    Bolsonaro Threatens Brazil’s Central Film Fund with Censorship or Closure

    In typical shoot-from-the-hip remarks, Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has declared that Ancine, Brazil’s powerful state-backed federal film agency, should accept “filters”or face closure. “If it can’t have a filter, we’ll close Ancine, or privatize it,” Bolsonaro added, attacking Ancine, which plows some $300 million a year into Brazil’s film and TV industries, for supporting [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content