Headlines from China: ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Producer to Executive Produce Chinese Film ‘Dongji Island’

a painting about ‘Lisbon Maru’ by British painter David Furze

‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Producer David Permut to Executive Produce Chinese Film ‘Dongji Island’

A master class series at the 4th Zhejiang Youth Film Festival opened on November 17 (Beijing Time). A poster of the upcoming Chinese war film ‘Dongji Island’ was released at the opening to showcase the theme of the film. Based on the accounts of historical event ‘Lisbon Maru,’ the film is written by Liu Heng and directed by Yu Lei. In addition, acclaimed Hollywood producers David Permut (‘Hacksaw Ridge’) and Jay Stern (‘Rush Hour’) have been brought on board as executive producers. Yu Lei is an emerging Chinese filmmaker whose short film ‘Nature’ won Best Short Film Award at China’s FIRST International Film Festival. Read more on Mtime

The Changing Economics and Dynamics of Film Distribution in China

The development of technology and the rapid shifting of entertainment landscape in China constantly brings new challenges to film distributors. In the past, a film distributor’s main task was to cultivate good relationships with theater managers. Today, however, the boundary between marketing and distribution is more and more blurry. At a recent distribution panel organized by WeChat media account Yiyuguancha, executives from Chinese distribution companies talk about the changing economics and dynamics of film distribution in China, and here are a few things they all agree on: first, both online and offline campaigns are important. While it’s important to place ads online, it’s also crucial to organize offline events, such as preview screenings, to promote films locally. Second, big data is important. A good example is how online ticketing platform Tao Piao Piao succesfully promoted ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ among online consumers who bought pet products. Last but not least, monitoring market environment and trends and adjusting strategies accordingly is key, as the only certainty is that nothing is certain. Read more on yiyuguancha

My Last Film Will be Made for Tsui Hark Says John Woo

This year marks the 50th anniversary of celebrated Hong Kong filmmaker John Woo’s filmmaking journey. Recently, renowned Chinese songwriter and director Gao Xiaosong invited John Woo for a talk to look back at Woo’s career. The conversation starts with Woo’s latest film ‘Manhunt.’ Woo expresses his appreciation of brotherhood, which he always tries to depict in his films. Woo also reveals that his life experience inspires him to make such type of films, and his relationship with Hong Kong filmmaker Tsui Hark embodies true brotherhood. “When I make my last film, I will make it for Tsui Hark.” Says John Woo. Read more on Mtime

Recommended Reading10 Most Powerful Filmmakers Scoring at the Chinese Box OfficeBy Haisong Li and Melissa Ko

A Still from ‘Seventy-seven Days’

Good Content Wins Over Chinese Audience Again

‘Seventy-Seven Days,’ an independent Chinese outdoor adventure film, has made 62 million yuan after 10 days in release. In addition, the film’s attendance rate has been topping the chart since it opened in theaters. As a small budget film with only 5.3 percent screen share, such box office performance impresses many. And ‘Seventy Seven Days’ is not the first indie film that surprised the market this year. Back in June, ‘Paths of the Soul,’ a Tibetan pilgrimage film by Chinese director Zhang Yang, succeeded commercially, and made many believe that Chinese audience’s taste is changing and there is room for independent and arthouse films in China.  The success of ‘Seventy Seven Days’ is proving such belief again. Read more on yiqipaidianying