Interview: Chinese filmmaking satisfactory but has long way to go: Chinese director

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-01 20:06:51|Editor: Li Xia
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by Mahmoud Fouly

CAIRO, March 1 (Xinhua) -- The development of Chinese filmmaking is satisfactory over the past 15 years thanks to government's reform policies, but it still has a long way to go to attract more audience in China, Chinese renowned filmmaker Xie Fei told Xinhua in an interview in Cairo.

"The current achievements of Chinese film industry are considered a victory of reform," said Xie, adding that it is still far from enough for a country with a population of 1.4 billion.

Graduated in Beijing Film Academy, Xie, 77, is a Silver Bear winner in the Berlin International Film Festival in 1990 for his movie Black Snow and a Golden Bear winner in the same movie festival in 1993 for his film Woman Sesame Oil Maker.

"The government has adopted many reform policies related to the film industry. As a result, the cinema industry has recovered and the number of screens has reached 60,000 in the whole country," said the Chinese renowned director.

However, Xie regretted that most Chinese people are not interested in going to cinemas.

"The number of people who go to the movies in China is fewer than that in the United States, whose population is only 300 million people," the veteran filmmaker and professor told Xinhua, noting that only 100 million Chinese people are interested in watching movies.

The Chinese filmmaker explained that the middle-aged and old people in China just like to watch TV and they do not go to the cinemas at all, while teenagers are busy with their studies and they have little time for anything else.

The challenges facing the development of Chinese film industry are the lack of good or interesting ideas, the high price of cinema tickets and the focus on attracting urban young people in their 20s as the main target audience instead of targeting all age groups, according to Xie.

"So we need to enhance reform in the filmmaking industry to promote diversity in cinemas," said Xie.

The Chinese director said that good cultural art films are not easy to shoot and popular entertainment movies also require extraordinary artistic talents, skills and abilities, in addition to huge capital investment and high-tech audio-visual production.

Xie expressed pride of the worldwide success of the 2019-production Chinese sci-fi movie The Wandering Earth, which is based on a novella of the same name by Liu Cixin, Chinese writer of the acclaimed science fiction trilogy The Three-Body Problem.

The movie was described by a Hollywood reporter as "China's first full-scale interstellar spectacular."

"I watched this masterpiece of science fiction movie in a local cinema in Beijing. It was brilliant! I also read Liu Cixin's sci-fi novel on which the movie is based and I know how difficult it was to put it on screen," Xie told Xinhua.

His film Song of Tibet, a production screened on China in year of 2000, was shown in the Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo on Thursday in the presence of dozens of audiences, including Egyptian students learning Chinese language, journalists and other visitors.

Xie has been chosen as the chief juror of Egypt's 2019 Sharm el-Sheikh Asian Film Festival that will kick off on Saturday with China as the guest of honor.