Chinese director Jia Zhangke talks about the rising power of BRICS countries' film industries and upcoming anthology film 'Where Has Time Gone!'

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/10/17 18:28:39

BRICS vs Hollywood




Jia Zhangke Photo: Courtesy of Wishart



Promotional material for Where Has Time Gone? Photo: IC

The first BRICS co-produced film, Where Has Time Gone?, is set to hit mainland cinemas on Thursday. Before its nationwide release, Jia Zhangke, executive producer and director of the Chinese section of the film, shared some behind-the-scene stories with Chinese media and film fans at a promotional event in Beijing on Monday.

An anthology film featuring short stories from directors of the five BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - Where Has Time Gone? revolves around the theme of time and people. For example, the Russian short film deals with the relationship between a couple who live an isolated life in a valley, while the Chinese section focuses on China's family planning policy.

Jia explained that when he was asked in autumn of 2016 if he was interested in leading the project for the BRICS film festival, he was gleeful. 

"I had been to every nation except for South Africa. I imagined at the time that it would be very colorful if directors from the five nations came together for one film," Jia told reporters at the event.

According to Jia, the directors chose to focus on the same theme because they all agreed that human beings, no matter where they may be from, essentially face many of the same problems. Add to this the fact that the five BRICS nations are currently experiencing very similar social development trends in which "the economy is developing quickly, while people's traditional way of living and relationships are changing a lot."

Jia also noted that while films from the US and European nations have dominated the global movie market, he has noticed that "the majority films that have had breakthroughs in terms of film languages or featured a new perspective on humanity have been from non-US and European nations."

"Through these films, audiences are discovering more in addition to what the US and Europe provide, other countries also produce meaningful films," Jia noted.

After its nationwide release in the mainland, Where Has Time Gone? is expected to make its way to overseas film festivals such as Tokyo Filmex and the Busan International Film Festival.
Newspaper headline: BRICS vs Hollywood


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