BEIJING, July 1(Xinhuanet) -- “The emergence of new technology has widened the horizon for film and video, and we need to adapt to that. We have to be innovative. Therefore we hope that we can strengthen the relation and cooperation with China in this field,” said Roberto Stabile, Head International Department & Events at the Italian National Association of Cinematographic Audiovisual Multimedia Industries (ANICA), during a recent interview with Xinhuanet.
“Furthermore, Italy is looking forward to undertake more cooperation regarding movies with China, as this will not only help the two countries to share their market and experience, but also broadens their international audience and brings about more cultural exchange,” he added.
ANICA was established over seventy years ago and represents the Italian film industry and many other related industries in Italy. “The goal of my current visit to China is to set up a permanent office of ANICA in Beijing, and to prepare the upcoming visit of the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism to China,” said Stabile.
Following the technological developments of recent years, various forms of video content, including films, have stepped outside the traditional movie theater and television, and found other distribution channels, such as the Internet. Producing videos has also become less difficult, as many people for example started to use their smartphone to shoot videos and share them.
“Regardless of how diverse the content, production, and distribution channels of video have become, the importance of movie theaters will not change,” found Stabile. “We pay attention to internet, mobile internet and other new means of video distribution, mainly to strengthen the distribution of films and video content. This will not have any influence on the production of traditional visual content itself. Our job now is to use these new media to add novel technology means and fresh distribution channels to the process of film making,” he said.
“Xinhuanet for example is a very important online medium, and we are honored to have the opportunity to work together with Xinhuanet. Through working together with important Chinese online platforms, we hope to combine our powers in carrying out events, to exchange ideas and productions, and to maybe even find the opportunity to co-produce a film together,” mentioned Stabile.
Hollywood style films, based on “big production and big investment”, have had quite a big impact on the international film industry in recent years. These big productions put pressure on the room for development of film industries from other countries and regions, and have created a debate on how to integrate both commercial value and artistic quality in films.
“Hollywood films are a challenge for Italian films as well. The first step we can take is to not pursue American films, and instead add more Italian characteristics and artistic features into our Italian films,” Stabile elaborated.
According to Stabile, the commercial value and artistic quality of a film are equally important. “Precisely this combination of commerce and art is what really makes a film successful, what impresses the world most profoundly. Also, balancing commercial value and artistic quality enables the film to be replicated in other parts of the world,” he said.
Stabile continued: “The cooperation between Italy and China is a very good way of dealing with current challenges. Italy can contribute with its longstanding artistic basis and filming experience, while China has an enormous market and very passionate producers. This combination will naturally give us a strong foundation and the strength to face the challenge.”
Stabile especially points out that Marco Muller, former Chairman of the Venice International Film Festival and former Chief Advisor of the Beijing Film Festival, has brought the experiences of the Venice Film Festival to China and also let more Italian people know about the Beijing Film Festival. His work has made important contributions to the cooperation between Italy and China in the field of film, and can be seen as a good foundation to further build upon.
“We will mostly focus on the possibilities for cooperation between Italy and China in the field of film. Italy is now considering and negotiating the co-production of a film with a Chinese party. We hope that we can let Chinese filmmakers shoot an Italian production in a Chinese way to find something new. At the same time we also want to distribute Italian productions through the Chinese internet, to support and enhance the further cooperation between the two countries in the field of film” Stabile said.
“We also welcome Chinese filmmakers to film in Italy, so Italy’s beautiful cities and landscapes, its solid technical basis and the well organized parties of the country’s Film Association can all contribute to their work. In that way, eventually both Italy and China can contribute to the shaping of a bilateral and sustainable cooperation,” he added.
“The Chinese film market is growing with unprecedented and astonishing speed. In a very short period of time, China has become the second largest film market of the world, and it could soon become the largest. To reach this position, China has fully relied on its vast domestic market. However, this could also be regarded as a weakness, as the Chinese market has been internalized and the level of penetration and access to the foreign market is insufficient. The cooperation between Italian and Chinese could be a great tactic for the Chinese market to enter Europe, and Italy,” Stabile concluded.