The ongoing Seventh Silk Road International Film Festival (SRIFF) in Northwest China has built a communication and cooperation platform for those in the movie industry along the Belt & Road to boost high-quality development of the industry.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has been thrashing the globe, casting a shadow over global film industry and impeding its development.

To break away from the dilemma, many countries’ filmmakers turned to Chinese market which took the lead to recover in an effort to achieve a win-win outcome.

Based in Xi’an City of Shaanxi Province this year, a time-honored metropolis known as the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, the festival has hosted a Belt and Road-themed forum on film cooperations.

Film professionals from Germany, Italy, Japan and other countries along the Belt and Road attended the forum on-site via internet, and had in-depth exchanges of ideas on the impact of rapid market changes on international film cooperation and proper solutions.

“SRIFF builds a platform in which filmmakers like us can discuss about the difficulties that we have in common and find solutions. I think it is very necessary,” said Yasushi Shiina, deputy director general of UNIJAPAN, a non-profit organization.

As the coronavirus outbreak in China has been brought under basic control through painstaking efforts, the country’s film market is recovering steadily. Statistics show that over 100 million people have been to Chinese cinemas and the box office earnings have grown to roughly the same level last year.

Such achievements not only pump up the world’s confidence on Chinese film market, but also cheer up the film markets of countries along the Belt and Road that have been cooperating more and more closely with China in recent years.

“Although we are facing many crisis and challenges, they will also bring new opportunities. China is the only country which saw box office recovery in late August, which sets a great example for us,” said Peter Dinges, chief executive officer (CEO) of Filmförderungsanstalt, German Federal Film Board.

On the other hand, many industry insiders in China believe that the global film market is a community of shared future when facing the pandemic. Only by continuously expanding cooperation and striving for a win-win situation can they achieve development in the long run.

“The silk road film festival has a very important function which enables producers, casts and creators to communicate on a platform so as to inspire more ideas on film creation and more ideas on how to attract film talents of international stature through closer contact and deeper mutual understanding,” said Yu Dong, founder and chairman of Bona Film Group Co., Ltd..

“When it comes to the film cooperation between China and other foreign countries, we don’t have to confine ourselves to co-investment and co-production of films. If we can further cooperate with partners along the Belt and Road at different specific aspects, and gradually accumulate more experience and successful cooperation cases, I believe more comprehensive collaborations will appear among countries along the Belt & Road,” said Liu Chun, general manager of China Film Co-Production Corporation (CFCC).

The Silk Road International Film Festival (SRIFF) was founded in 2014 to comprehensively implement China’s national strategy of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). It aims to promote cultural exchanges and cooperation among countries along BRI routes and to further develop the Chinese audiovisual industry. The annual event is hosted alternately by Shaanxi and East China’s Fujian Provinces.

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