Plans for "Chinese Hollywood"

2016/11/30 17:47:00 (Beijing Time)   Source:CRI    By:

China will start work next year on a 2-billion-US-dollar One Belt, One Road theme park and film studio in Chongqing as China works to increase the success of Chinese films overseas.

One Belt, One Road is an infrastructure strategy designed to bring nations together in a modern Silk Road by building roads, railways and ports. The new studio and “tourist town” is intended to attract foreign film and television producers, according to Xinhua, the state news agency.

China is the world’s second-largest film market, with new cinemas opening at a rate estimated at an average of more than 20 a day. Success overseas has been limited, however, with China-themed films produced in Hollywood performing better than films made in China.

Wang Jianlin, the chairman of Dalian Wanda, has promised to change that by building a “Chinese Hollywood” in Qingdao, eastern China, which he intends to be the world’s largest film studio. Legendary Entertainment, a Hollywood studio owned by Wanda, is producing The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon, the most expensive Chinese film ever to be shot entirely in China with a budget estimated at 150 million US dollars.

The film, directed by Yimou Zhang, is scheduled to be released in China next month and in the US early in the new year, but has already attracted controversy that may highlight the conflict between western and Chinese tastes. When the trailer was released in Britain over the summer it was criticised by the media including the BBC and newspapers The Guardian and The Independent, for “whitewashing”, a phenomenon in which white actors are used inaccurately for non-white roles, typically in an effort to increase the box office draw.

While Chinese fans on social media seemed unconcerned, the criticism in Britain and America was described by Damon as “a bummer”.

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