Biz / Tech

China's stories presented on the world stage

Zhu Shenshen
Publishers tell the 2021 Shanghai International Film & TV Festival that ancient Chinese legends, documentaries and COVID-19 stories have become popular in international markets.
Zhu Shenshen

Ancient Chinese legends, documentaries and COVID-19 stories have become popular in international markets, publishers told a forum at the 2021 Shanghai International Film & TV Festival on Monday. 

Online broadcasting, publishing on Instagram and YouTube and international cooperation helped producers bring Chinese stories to the global stage, despite challenges posed by the pandemic and traditional distribution bottlenecks, speakers told the International Television Cooperation in the New Era forum.

By focusing on cloud and social platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, SMG had become sellers rather than only buyers, said Yu Jie, general manager of SMG Pictures and WingsMedia.

SMG, the city's biggest media group, has accelerated cultural exports through its copyright operation and international platform. It has attended, virtually, TV and film festivals in Singapore and Cannes, tapped into cloud markets and opened channels on YouTube to promote Chinese stories. A highlight was "With You," a TV series about Chinese people's lives during the pandemic. 

Documentary films can "bridge gaps and narrow differences" in the world, said Dai Hua, general manager of media and local original content at Walt Disney Co, China. 

Walt Disney's National Geographic established a team in China to produce more than 200 hours of contents last year, such as "China from Above," documentaries about the Forbidden City and Shimao in Shaanxi Province, and "Gaokao 2020" about China's college entrance exam. 

China-themed content can reach 500 million families in 170 regions and countries through the company's international distribution networks and watched by millions on its Instagram account, said Dai.

Discovery, with the Asia Pacific's biggest producer team in China, presented work such as "Voice from Wuhan," a documentary about the Chinese people's contributions to the fight against COVID-19.

Officials from regulators, CCTV, regional TV stations, private publishers and global publishers took part in the forum at the Shanghai Exhibition Center.

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