Chinese American film, TV festivals set up platform for co-op
Warming engagement
Published: Nov 02, 2023 10:14 PM
Promotional material for <em>Meg 2: The Trench</em>, winner of Best China and US Cooperation Film Photo: Courtesy of Douban

Promotional material for Meg 2: The Trench, winner of Best China and US Cooperation Film Photo: Courtesy of Douban

The 19th Chinese American Film Festival (CAFF) and the Chinese American Television Festival (CATF) kicked off on Thursday in Los Angeles, the US, contributing to a close cultural exchange between the world's two largest film markets.

In a video address at the opening ceremony, Yang Guorui, deputy director of China's National Radio and Television Administration, said that over the last 19 years, Chinese-American film and TV festivals have set up a successful platform for China-US exchanges and cooperation in the audiovisual industry, according to Xinhua News Agency.

James Su, chairman of the CAFF and the CATF, told the Global Times on WeChat that the festivals have been eyed as avenues for the promotion of cooperation in the film and television industry between China and the US and enhancement of cultural exchanges and mutual learning. The festivals have built a bridge of friendship through film and television culture for better communication, understanding, and mutual benefit in the two countries.

Outstanding works

With the theme "Better Films, Better World," over 500 film and television works have applied to compete in the Golden Angel Award. Su noted the organizing committee's hopes that the festivals will bring peace, harmony, and love back to the world were based on the theme. 

At the ceremony, all the winners were announced, with The ­Wandering Earth II, the closing film at the ­festivals, crowned the Best Film, and Meg 2: The Trench, the opening film, earning the title of Best China and US Cooperation Film. 

Disney's Avatar: The Way of Water and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Universal Pictures' Fast X, Paramount Pictures' Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, and Sony Pictures' Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse were all awarded the Most Popular US Films in China.

The Knockout was recognized as the Best TV Series. Guo Fan and Xu Jizhou were named the Best Directors of CAFF and CATF for their work The Wandering Earth II and The Knockout respectively.

Outstanding Chinese film and television works such as Manifesto, 30,000 Miles from Chang'an, Lost in the Stars, Wild Bloom, and Long River in the World received the Golden Angel Award for the top 10 films and television dramas.

Eleven works including Path Finders, About the Clouds, and Tale of the Night received the China Culture Communication Award, which was established in 2021. 

The purpose of the China Culture Communication Award, according to Su, is to recognize that the organizing committee views film and television art as a cultural conduit, and culture serves as an important bridge for human exchanges and mutual learning. 

"The international spread of Chinese culture contributes to mutual exchanges and learning between Chinese civilization and global civilizations, aiding the modernization and internationalization of Chinese culture," he said.

Over 10 ­Chinese films will be screened during the screening week of the festivals. 

According to Su, this marks the first face-to-face dialogue between leading figures in the Chinese and American film and television industry and experts and scholars since the start of the global pandemic. They assembled in Los Angeles to jointly explore cooperation and the future of the Chinese-American film and television industry.

He mentioned that compared to previous years, this year's festival has seen a more practical and proactive approach from both China and the US. The Los Angeles County Government in the US designated November as "Chinese American Film Festival, TV Festival Month" for the eighth consecutive year, and officials at various levels in the US are actively supporting this year's event.

Comprehensive support 

Founded in 2005, the festival is a China-US cultural event recognized by both the US and Chinese governments. The annual event is usually held in November in Los Angeles.

One of the highlights of this year's edition is the introduction of the "investment and innovation unit," which provides comprehensive support for excellent film projects from both China and the US. The unit is dedicated to identifying talented filmmakers from both countries with creative potential and recognizing and supporting ­outstanding projects that have international, artistic, intellectual, and market value. 

The festival will combine the best American culture with Chinese culture in an open and inclusive manner. By discovering and supporting high-quality works, it seeks to further enhance the progress and international reach of film and television culture in the new era, according to Su.

Additionally, a TV program will officially be launched on ICITI TV, a TV station based in Los Angeles, on Friday, to introduce the ancient history and fruitful tourism resource of Southwest China's Guizhou Province. 

Yu Jinlong, a Beijing-based cultural critic, told the Global Times that CAFF and CATF can enhance cultural and artistic exchange between China and the US, allowing US citizens to learn more about China's rich history, culture, and contemporary achievements, thus strengthening people-to-people exchanges and contributing to the stability and development of China-US relations.

Recently, Gavin Newsom, governor of the US state of California, concluded a week-long visit to China after engaging in discussions with Chinese officials, local authorities, and ­business representatives on topics related to cultural exchange, climate change, economic development, and tourism.

Yu pointed out that as high-level exchanges between the two countries intensify, signs of a warming trend in China-US cultural relations are emerging.