The recent most eye-catching event in the film industry is the just-concluded 8th Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF 2018). As one of the most important sections of BJIFF, the Film Market has grown with BJIFF since its first edition. It has become increasingly mature over the past eight years and is the most active film market in Asia currently. The Film Market of BJIFF 2018 achieved more amazing results.
Enhanced influence, new highs
The Project Pitches of BJIFF 2018 registered a record 722 applications of rich genres. Suspense, crime and horror films came out on top this year with 154 applications, accounting for about 21 percent. Feature films came in second with 144 applications, accounting for about 20 percent. Romance films which topped the list last year settled for third this year with 135 applications, accounting for about 18.7 percent. Comedy films were ranked fourth with 111 applications, accounting for about 15 percent. Fantasy and science fiction films increased steadily with 77 applications, accounting for about 11 percent. Costume and swordsmen films were new highlights, accounting for about 4 percent. More diverse films in Project Pitches created more possibilities for the market.
220 organizations and institutions signed up for the Exhibition this year. Among the sections of the three-day Film Market, the Exhibition alone attracted flocks of visitors from inside and outside the industry. Endless streams of visitors to booths created more opportunities for industrial exchanges and cooperation.
At the Contract Signing Ceremony on April 20, 38 key projects of 79 enterprises were signed with a record total contract amount of 26.0825 billion yuan, up about 49 percent year on year.
Data growth shows the enhanced influence of the Film Market of BJIFF. More and more young filmmakers, as well as domestic and foreign film workers came here for communication, making the Film Market this spring more energetic.
Close international exchanges help the film industry go global
According to the film projects collected, the Project Pitches of BJIFF has become increasingly influential in the Chinese-speaking world. Works from Hong Kong and Taiwan increased significantly, outstanding Chinese filmmakers from Malaysia, Singapore, France and other countries took active part in the section. It is believed that the Project Pitches will foster more internationally influential Chinese films.
80 international exhibitors from countries including Canada, Georgia, Poland, Australia, Ukraine, Israel and Mongolia signed up for the Exhibition this year, to achieve the goal of “driving transactions through the exhibition and facilitating cooperation through exchanges”.
Many renowned international experts participated in the four Industry Conservations. The Industry Conservations organized by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPA) invited Oscar-winning producer Andre Morgan to join the discussion about the “Construction of the Industrial Ecosystem for China’s Film Production”. The 4th China Film Screenwriter Symposium organized by Bianjubang invited Franklin Leonard, Founder of the Black List to deliver a keynote speech. Domestic and foreign guests exchanged ideas and shared experience here to open a window for the international development of the Chinese film market in 2018.
Among 30 activities and events were international industrial interactions like MPA Workshop and Polish Film Industry Promotion. The activities and events brought together filmmakers from around the world to exchange ideas on cooperation and seek common development.
At the Contract Signing Ceremony, co-production projects between China and countries including France, Spain and Ukraine were signed. With the goal of “driving transactions through the exhibition and facilitating cooperation through exchanges”, the Film Market of BJIFF will continue to support international film industry exchanges, promote the “globalization” of Chinese films and enhance cultural soft strength, in a joint effort to build China into a film power.
Building an industrial exchange platform covering the whole film industry chain
Exhibitors of BJIFF 2018 were diversified. Among exhibitors this year, about 30.9 percent were production companies, about 13.5 percent were copyright sales companies and agencies, 9.5 percent were film & television technology companies and film & television technology companies, about 7.9 percent were promotion and marketing enterprises and institutions, 8.3 percent were distribution companies, 2.6 percent were legal service providers and the remaining 27.3 percent were other enterprises. With exhibitors covering the whole film industry chain, the Film Market of BJIFF built a platform for film element transactions.
The three-day Film Market covered all aspects of the film industry. Film workers could benefit from the discussion about the current situation of the market, the display of film enterprises and the advancement of specific projects.
Establishing an industrial bellwether
The Events & Activities of the Film Market has focused on hot topics in the film industry, met the need of domestic and foreign film institutions and companies for brand, business and project promotion, and followed the trend of film development in China and the world. This year the section covered current hot topics including IP R&D and derivation, film & television industrialization and data insight, as well as other topics including online film & television development, the globalization of Chinese films, film & television finance and special effects technology. The role of the Film Market as an industrial bellwether has become increasingly prominent.
The four Industry Conservations of the Film Market of BJIFF 2018 focused on “The ‘Core’ of Chinese Filmmakers”, “Ingenuity Inheritance-How to Perfect the New Director Fostering System and Build a High-standard Road of Film Industrialization in the Chinese Film Market”, “Reform of Film Distribution and Screening & Industrial Ecosystem Construction for Chinese Film Production” and “The 4th China Film Screenwriter Symposium-Genre Film Development and Creation 2018”. In recent years, IP concept has been hot, but project selections have often lacked standards, “The ‘Core’ of Chinese Filmmakers” organized by Entgroup put forward the idea of assessing the value of IP with big data for the first time, and offered practical and feasible suggestions to film workers. There has been a big talent gap behind the prosperity of the Chinese film market and spiraling total box office earnings. “Ingenuity Inheritance-How to Perfect the New Director Fostering System and Build a High-standard Road of Film Industrialization in the Chinese Film Market” brought together a few guests experienced at fostering young directors, to explore the way of talent incubation. With focus on talent training, content creation, production and distribution, and other topics in the film industry, the Industry Conservations indicated the direction for the development of China’s film industry in the New Year.
In the spring of 2018, sunshine and sleet alternated in Beijing, the changeable weather was as marvelous as the diverse and vigorous culture of Beijing. “Peiping (Beijing) is the dreamland of a king. It has palaces, imperial gardens, wide roads, art museums, technical schools, universities, hospitals, temples and pagodas, as well as streets with serried old book stalls,” Lin Yutang wrote in /Touching Peiping/. And now star-studded BJIFF has become a new symbol of the thousand-year-old city.
Ever-enhanced industrial cohesion, ever-growing international influence, increasingly wide industrial coverage and prospective industrial guidance are showcasing the strong energy and vitality of the Film Market of BJIFF. Through the prosperous Chinese film market, in the context that the government is vigorously developing the cultural industry, based on its strong organizational cohesion, the Film Market will achieve new success!