Actresses Xu Jiao (L) and Celina Jade arrive for the premiere of the movie "The Shape of Water" at the 74th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, on Aug. 31, 2017. (Xinhua/Jin Yu)
by Alessandra Cardone
VENICE, Italy, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- The primary role of co-productions in the future of cinema industry was discussed in the Focus on China event at the Venice Film Festival here on Sunday.
Co-organized by Italian National Association of Film, Audiovisual, and Multimedia Industries (ANICA), and by Xinhuanet, the meeting represented a top session within the second edition of "Focus on China", aimed at boosting the international promotion of the Chinese film industry.
Co-productions would already take a large share of the Chinese market in terms of revenues, as President of China Film Co-Production Corp. Miao Xiaotian explained to the audience.
"Last year, some 71 co-production films made some 9 percent of the Chinese market, yet their box office exceeded 60 percent," the guest speaker said.
"Moreover, co-productions were about half of the top 10 films at the box office, and the rest was made of three American productions and two domestic productions," Miao added.
Both Italy and China proved to be strong in film production, and would still have a potential to make full use of, according to ANICA president Francesco Rutelli.
"Italy and China are both culturally developed, so their cooperation in the cinema industry has big potentialities," Rutelli told the audience.
Indeed, Sunday's symposium had one of its focal point in the Sino-Italian cinema cooperation.
This has gradually come to be a priority for both ANICA and the Italian Ministry of Culture in the last years.
"We want Italian and Chinese creative talents come together," Rutelli told Xinhua on the sideline of the conference.
"They have to understand each other, and they have to work together to create... I would not say a global language, but rather a specific common language that links our two countries and our two cultures," he added.
It was now time to "unleash" the full potential of the Chinese-Italian cooperation, according to Paolo Del Brocco, managing director of RAI Cinema, the production arm of the Italian state broadcaster.
"We have the production rules in place, and we have the... will from both our countries: we just need to turn the engine full on," Del Brocco said.
The manager agreed that the best way to further develop Sino-Italian co-productions, at this stage, was to have the creative talents from both sides work together since the scripting phase.
"We need plots written in co-partnership, and stories able to put together culture and territory," Del Brocco explained.
"Yet -- considering the strong and swift developments in China's society -- we (Italians) also need to have the humility to let them (Chinese) write many of such stories, while of course helping them by suggesting features possibly affecting our audience, and theirs."
Many other events and meetings have been held at the second edition of "Focus on China" at Venice, which has lasted four days.
Four were the main sections of the forum: namely, "Young Filmmakers Training Program", "China-Europe Virtual Reality Technology Forum", "Sino-Foreign Most Beautiful Shooting Locations" and "Sino-Foreign Cooperation Project Roadshow".