‘China’s Hollywood’ aims at high quality-development with new releases, round-table talks and awards
‘China’s Hollywood’ aims at high-quality development
Published: Oct 25, 2023 10:47 PM
Photo: Xu Liuliu/GT

Photo: Xu Liuliu/GT

Hengdian, known as "China's Hollywood," as it is the world's largest film and TV base, aims to promote itself and its vast film and TV productions through the Hengdian Film and TV Festival on Thursday and Friday in East China's Zhejiang Province. 

The annual cultural industry expo not only has three themed seminars covering topics like industry development and scientific innovation in film and TV, but also includes film promotions, various annual association meetings and the Wenrong Awards. 

"After years of development, Hengdian has become an important hub for China's film and TV industry. And the Hengdian Film and TV Festival takes aim at a further goal: high-quality development," Sun Jiashan, an associate researcher at the Central Academy of Culture and Tourism Administration, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

Located in Hengdian township, Dongyang county, the film base has played an important role in the Chinese film and TV industry chain. 

Statics show that about a quarter of the country's film and TV dramas and two-thirds of costume dramas are filmed and produced in Hengdian. There are more than 80,000 extras registered with the Hengdian Actors Guild alone.

In 2022, the Hengdian Film and Television Cultural Industry Complex earned 22.064 billion yuan ($3.02 billion) in revenue, a year-on-year increase of 4.4 percent, while paying 1.037 billion yuan in taxes, a year-on-year increase of 16.2 percent. In particular, the revenue of large film and TV enterprises reached a record of 10.778 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 13.1 percent.

"Hengdian has grown into an important node and milestone in the development of China's film and TV industry. Coupled with the recent rapid development of the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis, the high-quality development of China's film and TV industry continues to move forward," Sun added. 

An important part of the expo, special seminars have always been an important benchmark for creative dynamics, industry trends and policy support in the film and TV industry. 

Photo: Xu Liuliu/GT

Photo: Xu Liuliu/GT

About 800 domestic film and TV experts and scholars, business representatives, and celebrities are set to attend the seminars to discuss industry trends and the development direction of the industry.

The year 2023 has seen the fast recovery of China's film and TV industry, which was badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. When the Global Times reporter visited one of the studios in Hengdian on Wednesday, studios were packed with production crews and tourists as well. 

"Hengdian is always looking to diversify its development routes. Integrated film and tourism experiences at Hengdian World Studios welcome thousands of visitors every day," said Sun. 

Jing Weiwei, a literary editor with Fujian Film Studios, told the Global Times that the development of Hengdian has not only contributed to the growth of China's film and TV industry but also expanded the innovative integration of film and tourism services. 

Jing pointed out that the establishment of the film and TV industry relies on a set of scaled hardware facilities, with film studios being the most fundamental factor, demonstrating and ensuring the maturity and vitality of the industry. 

Pan, a 54-year-old from Fujian Province, has enjoyed playing an extra at the studio. He told the Global Times that he always dreamed of being an actor, and now he made it. 

"We all knew it was an unrealistic dream for an ordinary person to become a star. But I have acted in a video. It is even a tailored service," he said, with a smile on his face. 

From grand reconstructions of historical palace complexes to small-scale depictions of everyday street life, production companies can find facilities here to meet all their shooting needs. Many well-known epic films and large TV series like Hero, Empresses in the Palace, Nirvana in Fire, and The Awakening Age, among others, have been produced at Hengdian. 

Speaking of the upcoming Wenrong Awards, Sun said that "it enriches the evaluation system of our country's film and TV industry, pays more attention to the subdivisions of the industry, and provides new development directions and trends."