Chinese stories appeal to global cinema goers: industry insider

2019-04-08 03:37:07 GMT2019-04-08 11:37:07(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

SAN FRANCISCO, April 7 (Xinhua) -- China's rich history and culture provide film scriptwriters with a reservoir of inspiration to develop stories for global audiences, said a U.S. film industry insider on Sunday.

"Apart from a huge market, China also has one of the world's oldest cultures spanning more than 5,000 years," said Stephanie Xu, founder and president of U.S.-Asia Innovation Gateway (USAIG). Her Silicon Valley-based organization is committed to advancing economic and cultural opportunities between the United States and Asia.

"The universal values contained in this profound culture have the potential of appealing to global audiences," she added.

Xu is currently collaborating with Hollywood on a few film projects in China, including an animation film on Chinese Terra Cotta Warriors. Another focus is the Silk Road and Dunhuang, a frontier garrison on the Silk Road known for its grottoes adorned with religious statuary and frescoes.

Chinese folklore and culture have inspired Hollywood filmmakers to produce a series of top-grossing films at the worldwide box office, including the animated film Mulan and Kungfu Panda franchise. Disney's live-action film Mulan, based on the Chinese household folklore, will be released next year.

Another Hollywood animation project Songhua, which is in development, is inspired by the Harbin ice festival in northeast China. The story, set in ancient China, is based on themes from Chinese folklore.

Early this year, Xu headed a delegation of four Hollywood filmmakers, including Raymond Singer, screenwriter of the 1998 animation film Mulan, and Michael Ferris, screenwriter of Terminator 3, to the inaugural Golden Week Conference for Chinese Scriptwriters in Beijing.

During the conference, Singer and Ferris were paired with the Chinese screenwriters of Lost in Thailand and Let the Bullets Fly respectively to discuss and comment on each other's works.

"The American screenwriters had never seen Chinese films before. After viewing the two Chinese films, they said they were impressed by the stories and characters," said Xu.

Since 2015, Xu has organized four trips for Hollywood filmmakers to China, where they met with Chinese counterparts and explore the Chinese cultural traditions.

During the China trips, the Hollywood filmmakers were taken to historically and culturally significant sites.

"They were impressed by the splendid landscape and natural wonders," said Xu.

Some world famous movies such as Avatar and Transformers have shot amazing scenes in China.

Xu said her hope is to help Hollywood filmmakers realize what China can offer them. 

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