Shanghai-HK bond in spirit of shared movie desire

Cheryl Heng
Shanghai and Hong Kong film professionals agreed that ties of exchange and cooperation between their two industries were strong during a recent forum.
Cheryl Heng
Shanghai-HK bond in spirit of shared movie desire
Ti Gong

The Hong Kong and Shanghai film industry forum during the SIFF looks to strengthen the bond between both industries. 

Shanghai and Hong Kong film professionals agreed that ties of exchange and cooperation between their two industries were strong during a recent forum at the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival. 

The strength of collaboration between filmmakers in the cities was due to the similar spirit and style of the cities, the professionals said. 

“We both have a pursuit of progress and respect for our history, inevitable features of a megacity,” said Hong Kong director Felix Chong. 

“Shanghai embraces diverse cultures like Hong Kong does. I believe that a good film should be inclusive of different cultures and that’s why I came to China’s mainland to shoot,” Chong said. 

Film veterans agreed that Shanghai was a charming city to shoot in, with an open and diversified environment and favorable government policies.

“Shanghai is the cradle of Chinese films,” said Danny Wei, CEO of Banana Pictures. “In the 1940s, films made in Shanghai represented those of all China. After liberation, Shanghai continued to contribute to nearly half of China’s film studio output.” 

Chong’s movie “The Silent War” was filmed in Shanghai in 2012. He considers the city an ideal location for historical movies, with a good blend of Western and Oriental buildings, ideal for traditional scenes. 

Despite the fame that Hong Kong film practitioners earn in international markets, they remain humble, said Ren Zhonglun, chairman of Shanghai Film Group. 

“I have interacted with many Hong Kong directors and, hearing them talk about their work, I can tell they are easy going and have genuine intentions,” said Ren. “I really admire their spirit and morality at work.”

Greater potential for cooperation between both film industries is also due to new measures unveiled by the State Film Administration in April this year. Restrictions have been lifted to allow Hong Kong and Macau professionals to work on mainland films. 

“Such supportive policies give creatives and producers more flexibility,” said producer Stephen Lam. “We can expand our horizons and unleash our production imagination when we collaborate with Shanghai film practitioners.”

In foreseeing changes in the Shanghai and Hong Kong industries, Shanghai Film Group boss Ren surmised about the emergence of a new genre of movies from the South. 

“I participate in the Hong Kong and Shanghai film industry forum every year,” he said. 

“I may represent the film profession in Shanghai, but I find the definitions are becoming increasingly blurred. What new movies can we generate through collaboration from both cities? Can there ever be a genre like movies from the South or from the Yangtze River?” 

At the forum, Ren recommended the audience visit the Shanghai Film Museum to check out the origins of cooperation between both film industries.

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