Ceremony honors quality homegrown TV series

Xu Wei
Dramas "Be Together" and "Minning Town" scooped top honors at a gala in celebration of quality Chinese TV series.
Xu Wei

Dramas “Be Together” and “Minning Town” scooped top honors at a gala in celebration of quality Chinese TV series held at the Shanghai Grand Theater last Friday. 

“Be Together,” a drama shot in a documentary style, and “Minning Town,” a series highlighting poverty alleviation, shared the “Special Quality” honor at the 2021 gala, a joint effort of Shanghai Media Group’s Drama Center and Dragon TV.

The awards ceremony, initiated in 2016, was set up to honor the nation’s most outstanding homegrown TV series. 

Ceremony honors quality homegrown TV series
Ti Gong

More than 30 TV series take part in this year’s celebration gala of quality Chinese TV series.

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, several dramas concentrated on the touching, real-life stories of the nation’s heroes in the fight against the pandemic.

“Be Together” gathered some of the nation’s most well-known actors, including Zhang Jiayi, Lei Jiayin and Zhu Yawen, to depict ordinary people from all walks of life in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, such as medical workers, construction workers and delivery drivers.

“Minning Town,” set in Fujian Province’s Minning Town, is centered on the extraordinary dedication to the town’s development since the 1990s. The series points a lens at how the lives and destinies of local families become intertwined with the vicissitudes of time.

“Like A Flowing River 2,” “A Little Reunion” and “I Will Find You a Better Home” were given the “Exemplary Quality” honor at the ceremony for their artistry and creative perspective. These shows tackled social issues such as entrepreneurship, the national college entrance examination and real estate transactions. The programs aroused many heated debates on social media about children’s relationships with their parents, education and the influence of family. 

Other popular TV dramas commended at the gala included urban romance “Go Go Squid!,” legal drama “The Best Partner,” police series “Hunting,” and “Nothing But Thirty,” an urban drama highlighting the growth of women in Shanghai.

A recent China Television Drama Production Industry Association report revealed China produced 670 TV series last year, a 26 percent decrease over the previous year. Contemporary drama took up the largest proportion, whereas only 10 percent of productions were costume dramas. 

Veteran TV producer Hou Hongliang, who received the best producer award, says TV directors use cameras to express their thoughts and reflections on humanity, in the same way an artist would use a brush or a musician would use a song.

“No matter what era we are in, we should never lose the enthusiasm to point our lens at the lives of people and show respect and sincerity,” Hou said.

Ceremony honors quality homegrown TV series
Ti Gong

The production crew of “Soldiers Sortie” shared their behind-the-scenes stories with the audience at the gala.

The “Classic Quality” honor was given to the 2006 production “Soldiers Sortie.” The series, adapted from a novel by Lan Xiaolong, is a touching portrayal of the contemporary People’s Liberation Army in China. It revolves around the lives and growth of the army’s newly recruited soldiers.

The series’ director Kang Honglei said that as a TV director he feels a strong sense of responsibility to explore original stories and showcase the nation’s spirit to the younger generations.

Award-winning actors, including Wang Kai, Tong Yao, Jiang Shuying and Mao Xiaotong, rounded off the gala fun by singing some new interpretations of a few classic songs. 

The ceremony will be aired on Dragon TV on Saturday night.

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