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Chinese films well received in Brussels

2013-05-24 10:08:18



Chinese films continue to make an impression around the world. Five Chinese movies have wowed audiences at this year’s China Film Festival in Brussels. We paid a visit to the festivities, and found out that while there’s a big demand for Chinese films in the west, there are still many challenges to overcome.

The comedy "Full Circle" opens this year’s China Film Festival in the Belgian capital.

The story centers around a group of senior citizens in a retirement home. The movie takes on issues of life and death, as well the elderly’s role in society.

"Everything was just fantastic! It felt like a romantic trip to China," Audience Member Dominique Andre said.

Despite the enthusiasm the films have received here, Chinese movies account for only a small part of the European movie market.

Although box office numbers have soared at home, earnings for Chinese movies overseas plunged to 2 million dollars last year. That’s down from 6 million in 2010.

According to some experts, the Hollywood approach to making movies might not be right for China. Not only that, Western viewers may actually prefer Chinese directors follow their own path.

"If we compare Chinese director Zhang Yimou’s earlier works with his more recent films, we see that the earlier works have been quite successful. But now Zhang and many others are making commercial films, and we seldom play them in theatres. Maybe it would be good to let someone study what Western viewers want to see," said Brigitte De La Royere, manager of Sino-European Center For Audiovisual Comm.

Zhang Yang, the director of "Full Circle", says he believes there are films that reflect the China of today. But more opportunities are needed to get them into the global market.

"There are Chinese blockbusters entering the European film market with commercial methods. That’s one way, but we also need to attend more film festivals like this one to show our works and get westerners to like them," director of "Full Circle" Zhang Yang said.

Films about Chinese martial arts were once popular in foreign countries, but people seem to have had enough of it.

Zhang says that now, Chinese films with realistic themes could be the key to opening up the western market.