×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • 'David Foster: Off the Record' Review:

    Toronto Film Review: 'David Foster: Off the Record'

    By the early 1970s, as the counterculture was dissolving and reconfiguring, there were new pop-star archetypes on the horizon that we still tend to think of — the glam rocker, the sensitive singer-songwriter, the hair-band metal strutter, the prog-rock wizard, the belting pop chanteuse, the punk rocker. But there was another figure of the era [...]

  • Bob IgerSimon Weisenthal Gala honoring Bob

    Bob Iger Would Have Combined Disney With Apple if Steve Jobs Were Still Alive

    Disney and Apple are both launching their own streaming services come November, but Disney CEO Bob Iger says the two companies weren’t always on competing paths. In an excerpt from his autobiography published Wednesday in “Vanity Fair,” Iger revealed that Disney and Apple likely would have merged if Steve Jobs hadn’t died in 2011. “I [...]

  • Aaron Janus Lionsgate

    Lionsgate Hires 'A Quiet Place' Producer Aaron Janus as Senior VP of Production

    Lionsgate has hired Aaron Janus as its new senior vice president of production and promoted Meredith Wieck to the post of vice president of production.  Prior to Lionsgate, Janus served as Platinum Dunes’ head of development, where he oversaw filmmakers Brad Fuller, Andrew Form and Michael Bane. There, he brought in “A Quiet Place,” on [...]

  • Ang Lee Reveals First Look at

    Ang Lee on 'Gemini Man' and De-Aging Will Smith

    On paper, Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man” is a standard-issue, shoot ’em up with Will Smith playing a deadly assassin who must battle a younger clone of himself. The explosions and gun battles aren’t what drew Lee to the project, even if they’re the reason that most people will show up at theaters when it opens [...]

  • Hopper Reserve

    Dennis Hopper's Dying Wish: His Own Strain of Marijuana

    Even as celebrity brands are starting to flood the emerging Cannabis market, Hopper Reserve stands out. The brand was launched by Marin Hopper, Dennis Hopper’s daughter from his marriage to Brooke Hayward. Hopper Reserve is a gram of California indoor-grown flower, two packs of rolling papers, a pair of matches and a trading card either [...]

  • Sean Clarke Aardman Staff Photography Bristol.Pic

    Aardman Appoints Sean Clarke as New Managing Director

    Aardman, the Oscar-winning animation studio behind “Chicken Run” and “Early Man,” has appointed Sean Clarke as its new managing director, replacing co-founder David Sproxton, who is stepping down after 43 years. Clarke has worked at the British studio for more than 20 years, including heading the international rights and marketing department for over a decade. [...]

  • The Antenna

    Toronto Film Review: 'The Antenna'

    Jump scares, creepy noises and the tease of hidden-from-view dangers are all fine. But a truly frightening horror film unsettles with more than its crafts, but instead through the vulnerability of defenseless people stuck with bad options only. First-time writer-director Orçun Behram’s highly stylized and mildly disturbing “The Antenna,” a metaphor on Turkey’s current ruling [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content