Winners for the 29th Shanghai TV Festival shows latest trends of Chinese TV dramas
Published: Jul 02, 2024 12:30 AM
Photo: Courtesy of Blossoms Shanghai

Photo: Courtesy of Blossoms Shanghai

The Magnolia Awards, one of the three most authoritative awards for Chinese TV dramas, is renowned for its emphasis on professionalism, as the awards are carefully selected by industry professionals rather than public vote. 

This year, the awards at the 29th Shanghai TV Festival (STVF) have garnered significant attention due to a controversy that arose during the nomination process. Chinese actor Wang Yang was nominated for "Best Actor in a Leading Role" for his role in the popular drama War of Faith, while his co-star Wang Yibo failed to be chosen, sparking debate.

However, when the final results were announced, many netizens expressed that the winners were "truly deserving," affirming the prestige and timeless direction of the Magnolia Awards - where the era shapes Chinese stories.

The selection for the 29th STVF covered outstanding dramas broadcast from the second quarter of 2023 to the first quarter of 2024, with both screen and online premieres eligible for nomination. 

During the awards, Blossoms Shanghai won Best TV Series (China), while Three-Body received the International Communication Award (TV Drama). The awards for best actor and actress were pocketed by actor Hu Ge and actress Zhou Xun.

These award-winning works reveal the evolution of Chinese TV dramas in the new era. They not only embrace the grand narrative of the nation, showcasing China's image and focusing on the changes of the times, but also serve the country's broader economic and social development, linking domestic dramas with tourism and business in a dream collaboration that promotes culture through travel. 

Moreover, they are leading the trends in the film and television industry, continuously upgrading artistic aesthetics, audio-visual experiences, and technological integration, making Chinese TV dramas truly a bridge to the hearts of people seeking truth, goodness, and beauty.

Delving into life and taking root among the people is an excellent creative tradition that is always advocated in the genes of Chinese TV dramas. However, as the internet revolution and economic and social development are unprecedentedly intertwined with people's viewing habits, the creation of Chinese TV dramas is also advancing with the times. 

Take Blossoms Shanghai for example, which won five major awards: Best TV Series, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Art Direction. Set against the backdrop of 1990s Shanghai, the drama showcases the urban landscape and social changes of Shanghai's prosperous center after China's reform and opening-up, as well as people chasing their ideal lives in this world of neon lights. 

Since its broadcast, the series has sparked heated discussions, with viewers being aroused not so much by the replication of memories, but rather by the entrepreneurial and spiritual history of the characters in the drama, igniting a passionate force that makes people willing to see themselves in the crevices of the city and to gain confirmation of this reflection of the people and the times through the consumption of clothing, food, housing, and transportation.

The TV drama Three-Body won the International Communication Award, showcasing the achievements in the field of international cooperation. The production team actively cooperated with international production teams to launch works with international influence. All these not only demonstrate the professional strength of various production teams in content production and operation but also highlight the new heights of innovation and development in the Chinese television industry.

Outstanding TV dramas often contain rich cultural connotations and life wisdom, providing spiritual nourishment for audiences. It is the the industry's continuous output of high-quality works that irrigates the garden of creativity that is the Magnolia Awards, keeping it fragrant and lush.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.