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International Film Market Forum: Accelerate Diversified Development of Chinese Cinemas

 
  The International Film Market Forum of the 8th Beijing International Film Festival was held in the State Production Base of China Film Group, Huairou District, Beijing, on the morning of April 16. The opening ceremony was attended by Zhang Peimin, former deputy director of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, and director of China Film Fund, Hu Dong, Deputy Director-General of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television and Deputy Secretary-General of Beijing International Film Festival Organizing Committee, Bian Jianguo, Deputy Inspector of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television and Deputy Secretary-General of Beijing International Film Festival Organizing Committee, Ming Zhenjiang, Executive Director of China Film Producers’ Association, Feng Wei, Asia Pacific Vice President and Greater China President of Motion Picture Association of America, and La Peikang, President of China Film Co., Ltd.

  The International Film Market Forum is a special session of the 8th Beijing International Film Festival this year. It is organized by the Organizing Committee of Beijing International Film Festival, and hosted by Huairou District Government and China Film Corporation, Beijing Zhongying Marketing Co., Ltd., and Movie View, Beijing Huaxinbo Culture Media Co., Ltd. and China Film Century Educational Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd., in a bid to improve the competitiveness of theaters and the international perspectives and on-field levels of cinema managers, and help cinema directors to quickly understand Internet trends, expand international thinking, and enhance the theater's comprehensive competitiveness. The forum is divided into three parts: master class of cinema managers, theme recommendation seminar and screening of recommended films. Among them, it was the 3rd time for the master class of cinema managers to be held this year. Nearly 300 relevant managers from nationwide cinema companies and theater management companies participated in the training of the master class.

  On the first day of the master class, Mr. Jiang Wusheng, General Manager of Beijing United Entertainment Partners Culture & Media and Jin Bo, CEO of Beijing Guanyu Cinema Management Co., Ltd., respectively gave speeches on the topics of “Communication and Cooperation Skills of Film Publicity and Distribution Companies” and the “Site Selection and Operation Strategies of Cinema Investment in Small- and Medium-sized Cities”. The overseas dialogue was hosted by Yang Ying, Director of the International Department of Movie View. Kazutaka Akimoto, President of Shochiku Cinemas, and Clare Binns, General Manager of Picture House Cinema, UK, carried out in-depth discussions respectively regarding “Integration of Cinema and Business Circles” and “Group Operation of Community Films”.

 

  Jiang Wusheng Publicity and Distribution Companies Should Pay Attention to Both Upstream and Downstream of the Film Industry

  Jiang Wusheng started out in respect of the key factors that should be paid attention to by film publicity and distribution companies, and shared many investment and publicity & distribution skills by combining his abundant investment experiences. He mentioned that as a publicity and distribution company, it is necessary not only to pay attention to the downstream screening market, but also to trace the origins of the upstream and examine the relevant data of the producers. “We must put a premium on controlling the production cost. If the production costs keep high, it will inevitably affect the revenues of the overall movie market." When talking about the attitude towards the use of new technologies in film production, he pointed out that "the growth of technology is meaningful only if being based on the needs of the story." Later, Jiang Wusheng formulated the basic principles in the process of understanding and judging the movie project in three aspects: story, details and feelings. On the issue of choosing the direction of project investment cooperation, he proposed to consider three aspects: type, size, and background. Finally, targeting at the values of how to create and use the distribution system, Jiang Wusheng made summarizations in such four aspects as schedule, grouping, three battlefields, and regional publicity and distribution.

  Jin Bo: Get aboard the last train of cinema investment in small- and medium-sized cities

  Jin Bo's speech was more like a rigorous and detailed academic report. He presented a close-knit logistical logic, exquisite data and illustrations. Based on the February report on the cinema market, he pointed out that the operation level and performance improvement of the theaters in small and medium-sized cities have become the driving force for the domestic market growth, and the initiative for cinemas is entirely in the hands of the operators themselves. By analyzing the trend of single-screen box office data in recent years, he asserted that “From 2016 to 2017, the consumers’ cinema-going habits in big cities have basically been cultivated. In small and medium-sized cities’ film market, there is still room for growth. Jin Bo encouraged investors to catch the last train of cinema investment in small and medium-sized cities as soon as possible, but reminded investors not to blindly invest or over-invest. In light of his own successful investment and construction cases since he joined the industry, Jin Bo suggested that investors should pursue such two key points as “regional uniqueness” and “the commanding height of the industry”.

 

  Kazutaka Akimoto: High-quality art film screenings are the best way to cultivate viewers’ love for movies

  Akiaki Koichi compared the distributions of China and Japan. He indicates that Japan’s film distribution is still relatively conservative. The case of simultaneous launch of the Internet and the cinema has just started. Most of the online distribution will still be equivalent to DVD distribution, i.e. about 6 months after cinema release. However, in the eyes of Akimoto, “Even if a film is released simultaneously on the Internet and in the cinema, it will not have a big impact on the cinema. In Japan, going to the cinema to see a movie is a very special thing”, “The popularity of the Internet will in turn motivate young people to go to the cinema in order to participate in online discussions." At the same time, Akimoto also introduced a variety of screening events at Japanese cinemas, such as "Movie Watching + Cosplay," and "Howling Screening" during which fans cheer up for movies on the spot. When talking about how to meet the diversified needs of Japanese audiences, Akimoto said, "The selection of films is the most important.  We must not let down the audience's expectations. Japanese cinemas see fierce competition and the selection of films can best embody their differences. "Akimoto also mentioned in the end that in order to cultivate viewers' love for movies, they must insist on screening high-quality art films. Although there might not be much income in the short run, it will eventually make sense in the long run.

  Clare Binns: Always take the audience as the starting point and never let down the trust of the audience

  Claire Bings brought the most lively and interesting speech of the day. She introduced the UK's cinema brand PictureHouse. Through a series of lively and creative cinema propaganda videos, we came to feel the charm of this independent cinema brand. Each cinema under the banner of PictureHouse has a different name and adopts personalized designs. The cinema would form various interactive services with the surrounding communities, such as building libraries and cafes that integrate with the cinema. The cinema line is dedicated to providing different viewing experiences for different groups of people. There are such special screening events as “Discover Tuesday” that specializes in screening niche orientations, and “Vintage Sunday” that specializes in screening classics, etc. Bins always upholds the original intention of diversifying film screenings, and emphasizes building trust with the audience, Always take the viewing needs of the audience as the starting point, and insist on running a reliable cinema.

  During the promotion seminar, the film distribution branch of China Film Group promoted the new films it has taken part in: Genghis Khan, Iaso Code, Journey to China: The Secret of the Seal of the Dragon, Deadly Bullring, The Wandering Earth, Animal Crackers, and Shanghai Fortress, etc. Australia’s Harvest Pictures and East-West Culture Fund and the UK’s Ixi Director Studio also presented their new films on the spot. In addition, the film Susu shot by the Chinese director travelling to the UK-- Sun Yixi was screened on the evening of April 16th. The event ended on the afternoon of April 17.