Author Archives: richpontigo

Independent Films in the Chinese Film Markets

Richard Pontigo                 BK Patterson                 Tres Savid

One of the hardest film markets to release an independent foreign film in is the Chinese film market. Even though they have had an annual growth of 34% in their film market each year, only 34 films were released in Chinese theaters that were foreign films. Even though there were only 34 films released they grossed 7 billion dollars. The Chinese film market is very specific to what they let there people see by regulating the content and even the release dates. Films that gross the most in China are action/comedy genre such as their film The Mermaid and Monster Hunt. The Chinese people do have certain themes that they do not enjoy such as themes dealing with time travel (Back to the Future) or films about the government suppressing its people (V for Vendetta). When making an independent film, that is planned to be released in China, these factors need to be considered.

There are a few different ways to release a foreign independent film into the Chinese market. The first is to acquire Chinese partners such as the China Film Group Corporation, CFGC, or the Huaxia Film Distribution Co. The China Film Group Corporation is a state owned business that has the exclusive rights to import foreign movies to China. Huaxia is the second and only other distributer of foreign movies in China. They have had problems importing movies, and its distribution strength is not as great as CFGC.

Another way to release a foreign independent film is to be bought out by a Chinese local distributor for a fixed price. This can be done in two ways by either a one time buyout or revenue-shared buyout, where you can receive revenue share in addition to the buyout price.

One other way we found to have our film distributed in China is through their film festivals. These films festivals include the Beijing International Film Festival, the Beijing Independent Student Film Festival, and the BigScreen Festival. There are many problems and troubles when attempting to release into the Chinese film markets but if you succeed the profits can be exponential.

Links to Chinese Film Festivals: