City's movie industry going from strength to strength

By the end of October, this year's Shanghai-produced movies had set a record for grossing over 10 billion yuan (US$1.46 billion) at the box office. 

The North Bund Riverside is a popular shooting site for film production. 

The film industry continues to flourish in Shanghai. By the end of October, this year’s Shanghai-produced movies had set a record for grossing over 10 billion yuan (US$1.46 billion) at the box office. Not only that, it had doubled box office receipts of all locally-produced movies last year.

This year Shanghai has produced 70 films, 20 of which have been released at theaters. Realistic drama film “Dying to Survive,” comedy film “The Island” and crime thriller “Project Gutenberg” are among the highest-grossing films. 

Eleven movies including Jia Zhangke’s drama film “Ash Is Purest White” and China’s first 3D Kunqu Opera flick “The Bell Tolls for a Dynasty” received acclaim and awards at international film festivals.

Diversity and creativity have also been found in recent local film productions. 

The action-packed adventure film “Animal World,” which opened this year’s Shanghai International Film Festival, is based on a popular Japanese anime. 

The acclaimed Huju Opera “Tiaoshan Woman” has been adapted into a film. It is also part of the city’s cultural initiative to digitally preserve intangible cultural heritage.

Additionally, the classic animated series “The Story of Afanti” has inspired a new 3D animated film, “The Adventure of Afanti.” 

Xie Jin’s comedy film “Da Li, Xiao Li and Lao Li” was restored and dubbed in Shanghai dialect.  

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Visitors go past movie posters lined up along the Yangtze River Delta International Cultural Industries Expo in Shanghai. 

Ren Zhonglun, chairman of Shanghai Film Group, attributes the new achievements of local film industry to the wide support of film policies and the growing creativity and hard work of Chinese moviemakers.

Many young talented Chinese directors have emerged including Han Yan, Wen Muye and Huang Bo. Also, more and more film and TV production teams choose Shanghai as a backdrop for their screen works.

To date, the city has around 200 shooting locations. The number is still on the increase to satisfy the growing demand of production teams from all over the world.

The potential new locations include Shanghai International Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Park, Wusong Wharf, Chuansha Town and the East Bund.

 According to Yu Zhiqing, director of the Shanghai Film and Television Production Services Institution, next year they will set up a service alliance with other cities in the Yangtze River Delta region to offer information, coordination and help in film and TV production.

The alliance is expected to boost prosperity of the film and tourism industries in the region.

The institution, which was set up in 2014, provides a wide range of services covering location coordination, camera and props rental and post-production. 

So far it has offered help to 595 film crews from home and abroad. Coordination service for the filming locations is free.

“Our institution is the first of its kind in China, but services like that are mature in many foreign countries such as the United States and Australia,” Yu said. “We will continue to provide aid for film crews to nurture more high-quality movies and original stories.”

Many foreign crews begin to shoot their productions in Shanghai. Earlier this year, producers of the British documentary series “Empires of Silver” asked the institution for help in filming at the Shanghai Futures Exchange and the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank headquarters.

And Iranian production company Marlik Tasvir wants to shoot their new TV series “Made in Iran 2” at the Pudong International Airport, Shanghai Wild Animal Park and the Oriental Pearl Tower.

Insiders anticipate that Shanghai, the birthplace of Chinese cinema, will incubate more big film projects and professionals in the future.

Map of film locations in the city

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