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New technologies give sports film new life

Zhu Shenshen
China's first color sports film, "Woman Basketball Player No. 5," is shown in high definition at the ongoing film festival after restoration using digital and AI technologies.
Zhu Shenshen

"Woman Basketball Player No. 5," China's first color sports film, was shown on the big screen at the Shanghai International Film Festival on Wednesday in a 4K high definition version following restoration of the 60-year-old movie using digital and AI technologies.

The film in super high definition and with vivid image quality is the latest the 4K-featured old films to debut at the festival, said Fu Wenxia, SIFF center's director. 

The 1957 movie was directed by Xie Jin, and starred Qin Yi. It was the first color sports movie filmed after the formation of the People's Republic of China, and Xie's first film. It featured female basketball players and their coach in Shanghai.

The film and sports industries are both strong in China and it made sense to reproduce the film and give it another life, Fu said.

The film shows cross-industry convergence among 5G, virtual reality and UHD or ultra high-definition, said restorer Migu.

Migu, a subsidiary of China Mobile, is broadcasting 12 festival films and documentaries  in its family broadband TV network Mobaihe, which has 150 million users nationwide, said Yan Zhongwei, the company's vice general manager. 

New technologies give sports film new life
Ti Gong

Digital and AI technologies have been used to restore the film. 

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