Headlines from China: China’s Film Bureau Denies Legitimacy of Smart Cinema

China’s Film Bureau Denies Legitimacy of Smart Cinema

On May 9, Beijing-based tech firm Yuntu Shidai (云图时代) released a new app called Smart Cinema, which is designed to stream new-release movies on mobile phones in China within the theatrical window. However, in response to media’s requests for comments, China’s Film Bureau states that all digital platforms that release video and audio content are required to obtain a license, yet Smart Cinema hasn’t obtained such a license. Initiated by China Research Institute of Film Science and Technology, the Smart Cinema app is backed by some government departments. However, it seems that the app hasn’t received official approval and endorsement from the country’s film bureau. It remains to be seen how the issue will be resolved, and if the app will thrive and help expand the Chinese box office. Read more on yiqipaidianying

China and Japan Officially Signs Co-production Treaty

On May 9, China and Japan officially signed film co-production treaty during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit in Tokyo for the Japan-China-South Korea trilateral summit meeting. According to the newly signed treaty, both countries will set favorable policies to facilitate co-production application process, crewmembers’ visa applications, and transportation of equipment. Films produced under the treaty will be considered as local productions in both countries, escaping China’s import quotas. Industry expert Yin Hong says that China’s collaborations with Japan in film production will help Chinese films go global. Japanese cinema does a great job integrating local culture with universal values, which China can learn from. Read more on entgroup.cn

A Closer Look at Wanda’s Qingdao Movie Metropolis

After over four years of construction and planning, Dalian Wanda Group finally opened the Qingdao Movie Metropolis last month. Recently, reporters from WeChat media account D-entertainment visited the studio to learn more about its current state. Here are some findings: first, Wanda and the Qingdao government promised to refund up to 40% of production costs to movies produced at the studio. However, there is still no information as to when this policy will take effect. Second, while the facilities are state-of-the-art, the services provided at the studio can’t meet the needs of various filmmaking crews. Last but not least, the rental fees of certain facilities and equipments are rather pricy. Many production companies told D-entertainment that they wouldn’t be able to afford to use them. Read more on D-entertainment 

Jia Zhangke’s ‘Ash Is Purest White’ Passes Chinese Censorship

On May 12, the world premiere and press conference of Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke‘s drama film Ash Is Purest White took place in Cannes. Jia Zhangke, lead actor Liao Fan, lead actress Zhao Tao, and several other celebrities attended the event. At the press conference, Jia revealed that the film had passed the Chinese censorship without being cut. Currently, they are waiting to confirm a theatrical release date for the film. Read more on Mtime