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Quality, Popularity, Friendship and Cooperation

chinadaily 2013-11-04

Development of the Chinese Culture Center in Paris enlightens similar overseas organs

The Chinese Culture Center in Paris, received the honor of Outstanding Collective Contribution to International Dissemination of Chinese Films, the only recipient of the award at the Beijing screenings award ceremony in early September, and as a result the center is now very much under the spotlight.

The recent honor indicates that the center, the first of its kind launched by the Chinese government in a western country, has evolved into an excellent representative of overseas Chinese culture centers with the award representing a kind of praise for similar overseas institutions.

Foreign Chinese culture centers, hosted by China's Ministry of Culture, serves as a cultural exchange channel between China and foreign countries. As NPOs, the centers focus on showcasing Chinese traditions to the foreign public, promoting Sino-foreign exchanges and cooperation in areas such as culture, art, education, communications, science and technology. The centers organize various cultural activities to help local residents better understand China, and are responsible for bringing foreign cultures and their development experience in modern China, under the themes of Quality, Popularity, Friendship and Cooperation. Beginning in 1988, when China first established Chinese culture centers in Benin and Mauritius in Africa, the advancement of the overseas programs has been happening for over 20 years. Such efforts are considered to be strategically scientific and carry high value as an effective cultural transmission campaign.

It's only one of the cultural dissemination responsibilities of the Chinese Culture Center in Paris to publicize Chinese films, said Yin Fu, director of the Paris center. Starting from its opening in 2002, the center began publicizing Chinese culture mainly by holding cultural exchange activities and teaching and training as well as providing information services. The Paris Chinese Film Festival, co-hosted by the center, China's State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, and Groupe Pathé, has been held for three consecutive years in many cities in France and has attracted tens of thousands of people. In the past, each festival has introduced over 10 of the latest Chinese films to French audiences and has invited guests including both Chinese film stars such as Jiang Wen, Gong Li, Vicki Zhao and French stars such as Jean Reno, Alain Fabien Maurice Marcel Delon and Vincent Pérez.

In the past year, 75 films produced by 31 Chinese institutions have been sold to over 80 overseas countries and regions. During the same time, 614 films produced by China have been screened over 118 times in 40 foreign countries and regions, 390 of which have been showcased in 77 international film festivals. Of the films showcased, 55 of those films have won 73 awards at 21 international festivals. The achievements of the Chinese Culture Center in Paris have played a prominent role in the international distribution of Chinese films. The center has invited and cooperated with people from all walks of life in China and France to create such things as advertising on hundreds of light boxes along the Champs-Élysées, which were used to promote film festivals , advertising sponsorship in the Paris metros, organizing festival volunteers and has also invited Sino-French stars to participate in events. The center has made full use of various resources during the galas in order to achieve extraordinary results.

The success of the recent film festival demonstrated the quality of events held by the Chinese Culture Center in Paris. Quality is the main focus for activities organized by the center. In addition to the film gala, the center hosts large-scale exhibitions on occasion, a Chinese opera festival in Paris biennially and an annual Chinese "quyi" festival, which is an event showcasing traditional Chinese art forms such as ballad singing, storytelling, and cross talks, all of which are influential cultural exchange activities. Starting in 2003, the opera festival has been held six times with the support of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. It has initiated market operations to cooperate with local theaters in France to attract thousands of people and is known by people from countries surrounding France. Starting in May of 2010, the Chinese "quyi" festival in Paris has used traditional elements in its modern performances to showcase the diversity of the "quyi" art form to French audiences, which has been well received.

The Bureau of the External Cultural Relations of China's Ministry of Culture recently said that overseas Chinese culture centers not only promote high-quality programs to the foreign public, focus on the popularity of Chinese traditions and benefit people, but also attach more importance on cooperation with the local institutions while deepening friendly relations by planning exchange projects using the themes of Quality, Popularity, Friendship and Cooperation. The Paris Culture Center's recent win is the result of their implementation of the aforementioned principles, and also through the support of domestic government organs along with the tireless efforts by the center itself.

According to the State Council's recent plans, China will have established 50 overseas Chinese centers around the world by 2020. The construction of the centers is a systematic project. In addition to selecting their locations, structure and facility supplies, the centers will continue to utilize the principles and concepts of winning and benefiting people through quality service. Considering the current trend of precise management, the overseas Chinese centers will upgrade their work quality and continue to make bigger contributions to Sino-foreign friendship and cooperation.

By Zhang Xiaolan

Translated by Dong Lin

Zhang Xiaolan is the Director of the International Culture Department at China Culture Daily, a publication directly under the administration of China's Ministry of Culture.


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