SHANGHAI, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese movie that won a top
European prize recently has drawn the world's attention to the
Chinese film industry.
"Black Coal, Thin Ice", directed by Diao Yinan about a washed-up
former cop investigating a series of murders took first prize at
the Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday and is the
fourth movie from the Chinese mainland to win the "Golden Bear"
after Xiefei's "Women from the Lake of Scented Souls" in 1993,
Zhang Yimou's "Red Sorghum" in 1988, and Wang Quan'an's "Tuya's
Marriage" in 2007.
Lead actor Liao Fan, who plays the detective, scooped the Silver
Bear for Best Actor, the first Chinese actor do so.
Zhou Xing, dean of the school of arts and communication at
Beijing Normal University, considers the participation of Chinese
movies in the festival this year "encouraging". Their record at
international film festivals has been patchy at best in recent
years. It had been a bleak season for pure art house films in
China's domestic film market has continued to break new ground.
In 2013, box office receipts were almost 22 billion yuan (3.6
billion U.S.dollars), with domestic films making about 13 billion
yuan, up over 50 percent.
The industry has been widely criticized for giving too much
importance to box office and not enough to artistic value. Director
Karwai Wong, who was jury president at Berlin last year, reckons
that more patience is needed.
"The art of film has a developing cycle, and it takes at least
three years, or five years, even ten years, to have a masterpiece.
We have to wait," he said.
Observers consider that "Black Coal, Thin Ice" bridges the gap
between art house and multiplex elements. Diao Yinan, director of
the film believes that Chinese productions have matured in recent
years, as art and commercial films learn from each other.
The script of "Black Coal, Thin Ice" was one of 20 projects
funded by China Film Private Capital(CFPC), which helps directors
enter the international market. Established in 2007 at the Shanghai
International Film Festival, CFPC helps use private capital to
support young directors gain exposure in the West.
"Private investment in film has been encouraged and we can
expect more brilliant works combining both artistic and commercial
values in the near future," said Fu Wenxi of the Shanghai
Fu hopes that the success of "Black Coal, Thin Ice" will
encourage film-makers, despite the current shallow market.
During the lunar New year holiday in 2013, movies grossed 760
million yuan with 19.25 million people going to the cinema. Both
figures set historical records. Enditem
(To stay up to date with the latest China news, follow XHNews on
Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/XHNews and Xinhua News Agency on
Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/XinhuaNewsAgency.)