Chinese-produced content showcased to global broadcasters
High-quality Chinese audiovisual content and IPs are being showcased to broadcasters and buyers at the 39th annual MIPCOM, the leading global trade conference for the television and entertainment business.
MIPCOM, which is being held in Cannes, France from Monday to Thursday, has designated China the Country of Honor for 2023 this year. The Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism and the Shanghai Administration of Radio and Television hosted the Shanghai Top Quality Audiovisual Boutique Promotion Conference on Tuesday in Cannes, attracting industry professionals and audiences from across the world.
Trailers and posters of a variety of Shanghai-produced TV series, documentaries, and animation productions, including "Blossoms," "The Treasure Guardians," "The Heart," and "The Land of Spirits," were screened to provide insights into China's brilliant culture, robust economic growth, and vibrant lives.
Over the years, Shanghai has provided a broad platform for the expansion of film and television production firms, as well as attracting top-tier streaming services such as Tencent Video, iQiyi, and Migu to flourish and take root.
Sun Zhonghuai, Tencent vice president and CEO of Tencent Video, told a gathering of top content creators, distributors, and broadcasters at MIPCOM's Media Mastermind series that good content transcends borders while highlighting opportunities for international partnerships in content and streaming.
"Our production efforts center on building a robust IP portfolio, and our vision is to create more IPs with broad influence and to establish a more diverse content ecosystem," Sun said. "With access to a wealth of IP sources, including China's largest web literature platform and numerous game IPs, we can develop new and varied forms of content based on these IPs."
He alluded to the popular sci-fi story "Three-Body," which is based on the novel by Chinese sci-fi writer and Hugo Award winner Liu Cixin. It took them seven years to bring to the film the narrative of humanity's reaction to the arrival of a highly evolved alien civilization.
The first installment of the series drew global attention and helped establish the sci-fi genre for China's TV drama section. The series had been streamed approximately 11 billion times as of the end of March of this year, with an average viewership of more than 360 million per episode.
"Sci-fi dramas have always been limited in film and TV due to the large amount of investment required and the high bar for production," said Sun. "Through this series, Tencent Video has taken a decisive first step toward creating similarly outstanding future productions."
An increasing number of original Chinese intellectual property is being released abroad. Sun said that two online literature-based IPs, "The Land of Warriors" and "The One," will be developed into various types of entertainment in the future, including animation, live-action shows, and games.
Eastern aesthetics, classical Chinese culture and philosophy, and traditional Chinese arts will be combined to give a visually magnificent and thought-provoking experience for the audience.
Chinese content creators' exchanges at MIPCOM are expected to build a bridge for larger international cooperation and boost local cinema and television firms' capacities in content development, innovation, and international marketing.
Many popular Shanghai-produced programs, such as "Nothing But Thirty," "With You," and "Ebola Fighters," have received critical praise from a large overseas audience. Some shows have also sold remake rights to popular television channels in South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Documentaries such as "The Tokyo Trials" and "21st-Century Maritime Silk Road" have been translated into multiple languages. The online animated series "Scissor Seven" has become the first original Chinese cartoon series to be shown on Netflix, and it has been dubbed for a worldwide audience.
"Singing with Legends" is the first domestic variety show with multiple foreign versions in Europe based on the successful Chinese format. The Spanish version of the show, named "Dos increbles," aired last year to widespread acclaim on Spain's huge public broadcaster RTVE.
Local TV professionals have also been working on iFORMAT, the country's first online database for program formats, since 2017. Over 1,000 original Chinese program formats with bilingual versions in both Chinese and English have been collected thus far.