China’s thirst for blockbusters worries filmmakers
The growing power of China’s cinema industry is on show at Asia’s top film festival, but some filmmakers worry that a thirst for blockbusters is hurting quality and creativity.
‘It’s a big population and a big market and a lot of opportunity to increase that market,’ independent Chinese filmmaker Wang Xiaoshuai said on the sidelines of the 16th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF).
‘The problem is that people are doing the one type of film — the big budget, commercial type of film — and there is not much left for the rest of us.’
China has a major presence at the festival with 14 films in the main programme, studios strongly represented at the concurrent Asian Film Market and Chinese directors and acting talent out in force.
China’s box office receipts grew by 64 percent in 2010, to touch on US$1.5 billion. This year, official figures showed ticket sales from June to August alone at US$640 million, a year-on-year rise of 77 percent.
With China adding about 1,400 cinema screens this year and estimates that the total will more than double to 13,000 within four years, it is little wonder that the international film community is looking to the east with envy.