Guangzhou sets eyes on role of TV, film center for Bay Area

2021-02-19 12:04:39

Cinema visitors check in with their cellphones in Guangzhou on July 20, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua] Guangzhou city authorities are inviting more major film and TV companies to set up headquarters for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The city will start hosting the annual Bay Area Golden Rooster film exhibition in the first half of this year, Zhu Xiaoyi, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Guangzhou Committee, said at a news conference in Guangzhou on Thursday. The Golden Roosters are one of the China's top film awards. More than 600 film and TV companies are operating in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province. With 255 cinemas, the city booked 684 million yuan ($105 million) in box office revenue last year, ranking fourth among Chinese cities. Guangdong has the largest number of screens among Chinese provinces and has been the leading province in box office revenue for 19 years. Thursday marked the second anniversary of the release of the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The plan urged those in the Bay Area "to fully leverage the strengths and expertise of Hong Kong talent in the film and television industries, promote cooperation among the film and television industries in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, strengthen film investment and cooperation and exchanges among talent, and support Hong Kong in its development into an exposition hub for television and film". Professionals in the film industry in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao have produced a number of excellent films in the past two years, said Andrew Lau, a Hong Kong film director. "I hope we will continue to work together to promote Chinese films globally," he said. Films are a product of modern industries and depend on finance, technology and the market, said Wang Tianyun, a professor at the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts, adding the Bay Area is one of the industry's hubs in China. Cooperation between Guangdong and Hong Kong in the film and TV sector has yet to be upgraded and the interaction among cities in Guangdong is insufficient, said Jia Yi, dean of the School of Greater Bay Area Film and Television Industry at Guangdong University of Finance and Economics. Top companies are lacking in Guangdong, with the box office revenue from productions from Guangdong yet to be lifted, he said. Jia suggested that Shenzhen take up the role of fundraising, with Guangzhou becoming a creative center, Foshan a filming center, and Hong Kong a production and international distribution center. Guangdong's strength in finance and internet technology should be drawn upon to cultivate leading film and TV companies and enhance the appeal of productions, he said.