International film base to bolster Pudong's ties with culture industry

Li Qian Wan Tingting
Pudong will build an international film base to shore up weak links in its cultural landscape, officials said yesterday.
Li Qian Wan Tingting

Pudong will build an international film base to shore up weak links in its cultural landscape, officials said yesterday.

The Pudong International Film and Television Industry Park, at the Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone, is planned to feature a high-tech film studio, incubators for film professionals and a platform for film distribution and exchange.

According to the blueprint, an annual government fund of 100 million yuan (US$15.4 million) will be set aside to support the development of the local film industry.

Industry players will enjoy a series of favorable policies, including subsidies, if they open offices and studios in the zone. Also, a one-stop service center will be set up to meet the demands and offer tailor-made services to filmmakers.

The centuries-old watertown of Hengmian, only about 2 kilometers away, will become an open-air TV and film shooting location. Works on local history and culture are expected to be produced there, according to the plan.

In cooperation with the city’s cultural authorities and industry giants, the zone’s administrative committee plans to hold film festivals and foster promising young directors. It has also reached an agreement with the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to open its Shanghai representative office in the zone.

Pudong has formed a diverse set of cultural industrial clusters, said Li Guirong, deputy director of the administrative committee of the Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone.

“What we do globally is put passion into creating great opportunities for new film talents ... and we will set side approaches for Chinese talents this time. We will connect Chinese film newcomers with British skills and counterparts that might work in the future,” said Tim Hunter, director of Learning and New Talents at BAFTA. Hunter said he is impressed by the strong government support for the local film industry. “It’s a wild strategy, and it brings me more confidence and determination. So we look forward to the following cooperation,” he added.

Some of the country’s top recreational venues such as Mercedes-Benz Arena have settled in the former Expo site and a new batch of the city’s new landmarks, such as Shanghai Planetarium, will soon be completed in the Lingang area.

Zhangjiang is home to a group of digital media companies such as Yuewen Group, China’s largest online publishing and eBook company. Jinqiao area is building the country’s largest video industry cluster, backed by industrial titans such as China Mobile.

The Waigaoqiao Bonded Area is a newcomer to Pudong’s cultural landscape. It is stepping up efforts to be the world’s largest bonded art hub, featuring a whole industry chain from warehousing and logistics to exhibitions and trading.

“As you can see, the film industry is not on our current landscape,” Li said.

Construction of the film base is meant to be the last piece of the jigsaw in Pudong’s development as a cultural highland. Also, Pudong’s current advantaged industries will offer support to local film development.

Li illustrated that financial companies in Lujiazui will offer financing, digital media firms in Zhangjiang will deal with technologies like virtual reality and Waigaoqiao will help with cross-border trading.

“We will provide support from the whole industry chain,” Li said.

Actually, Pudong already has a foot in the door.

The Belt and Road Film Week, an event at this year’s Shanghai International Film Festival, was held between June 16 and 20 at the Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone. During the event, an alliance was formed among 31 film institutions from 29 countries and regions.

Members of the alliance will screen each other’s films and make films together.

“It’s like expanding our networking. In this network, we will achieve multi-party cooperation,” said Fu Wenxia, an official with the festival’s organizing committee.

Also this year some Disney films such as “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Coco” made their Chinese mainland and world debuts in the Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone.

Last year, Pudong’s arts and culture industries generated 105.6 billion yuan.

Special Reports