|'A Bite of China'
The popular Chinese food documentary "A Bite of China" will be aired in the United States later this year, its producer told the Magnolia TV forum on Thursday at the 20th Shanghai TV Festival.
"Each episode of the series sells at a price of about US$74,000, which is the highest single episode price for a series produced by our channel," said Zhou Yan, deputy director of the Documentary Channel of China Central Television, and the producer of the series.
She said the first season of the seven-episode documentary series, which provides insight into the amazing Chinese food culture and history, will be aired on the local broadcasting channels in about 30 cities in the US later this year.
She added that Chinese documentaries are becoming more and more international with global insights, new perspectives and improved production techniques,
Currently about 85 percent of the channel's original contents are distributed overseas. The series have been sold to more than 80 countries and regions and earned the channel more than US$1 million.
"Over the past three years, we have also co-produced 81 documentary series and films in varied genres with international companies," she added. "We will still encourage a diversity of thought and style."
Gan Chao, director of the local Documentary Channel of Shanghai Media Group. said documentaries have responsibility to document the reality and reflect on the past.
"Based on our experience of international co-production, I would say that not all the subjects and stories are suitable for the approach," Gan said. "The stories should be told in international language, and they should show much concern for ordinary people and social problems because our country is undergoing tremendous changes."
Experts also noted that nowadays documentaries in the categories of nature, history and science are also among the most popular genres in the international market. They suggest Chinese documentary filmmakers to develop a global vision and do more research about the new trends in the industry.
According to Chris McDonald, president of Hot Docs Festival — the largest documentary film festival in North America, China is full of remarkable stories, but filmmakers still need to learn to convince the broadcasters and investors "why this story, why you are the best person to tell the story and why shoot it now."