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China Aims To Become Market Leader in Films Like The U.S.

The Chinese government has encouraged filmmakers to turn the country into a “strong film power” like the U.S. by 2035 and called for the production of 100 movies a year that each earn more than RMB100 million ($15 million, ₦5.3 billion).

The targets were set by the executive deputy director of the Central Propaganda Department and director of the National Film Bureau, Wang Xiaohui, at the first nationwide industry symposium since the former agency took jurisdiction over the latter.

As reported by Variety, Government officials, film scholars, representatives of major film companies and industry associations gathered in Beijing on Wednesday for a symposium that set the tone for the future development of China’s industry with the propaganda bureau in the driver’s seat.

The names of leaders such as directors Chen Kaige, Zhang Yimou, Ning Hao, Guan Hu, and Huang Jianxin, as well as actors Zhang Ziyi, Wu Jing, and Chen Daoming, were on the list of attendees, according to the People’s Daily newspaper.

Wang was named the head of China’s film bureau last May, following a major government restructuring. He said that a major concern is that “the international influence of Chinese film still has such a long way to go.”

“China has already taken its place at the center of the world stage, and Chinese films must have their proper place in the world,” Wang said, according to the People’s Daily. “But the Chinese film industry’s current level of development is not commensurate with China’s national status. A country’s level of film development reflects its total national strength.”

He said that the biggest problem facing the Chinese film industry was one of quality. “Overall, our ability to tell stories lags far behind Hollywood and Bollywood’s,” Wang said.

Filmmakers “must have a clear ideological bottom line and cannot challenge the political system.” Cultivating new film artists was “extremely urgent and important,” as a lack of talent has so far been a big setback, he added.

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