There's been a rapid growth of Chinese-made movies in recent years, but many of them never make it into the cinemas. Now, 18 theaters in Shanghai have set aside auditoriums dedicated to showing Chinese films.
Home made films have found an exclusive position here in these halls, whether screened alongside overseas blockbusters or not. Every day of the year, they will appear on the screens in these halls. Cinema managers say the launch of these halls will help promotional efforts, as many home made films fail to reach an audience.
Wu Hehu, deputy general manager of Shagnhai United Circuit,said, "Last year, the number of home made films surpassed 300. But the number of films our cinemas showed is around 120, including both domestic and overseas productions. I estimate we showed only 100 home made films. So where did the rest go? In fact, they have no chance to reach the public as there is neither time nor place for them in the cinemas."
In fact, industry insiders say home made films have seen an increase in quality in recent years. Take the film "Deng Xiaoping in 1928" for example, which gives an inside look at the former leader's early experiences in Shanghai. Unlike other films dealing with revolutionary history, this one has a more personal focus. Such a unique touch helped the film earn more than 13 million yuan during the opening round of screenings.
Li Xiepu, Diretor of "Deng Xiaoping in 1928" said, "I believe that so long as we don't run contrary to the historical facts, we should incorporate every possible element to boost the attractiveness of home made films. Even elements in entertaining films can be introduced into such revolutionary films, if used correctly."
Despite all the trials to make home made films more attractive, the overall situation remains embarrassing. In the first 8 months of this year, box office revenue across China hit 2 billion yuan. Home made films account for just 20 percent.
But cinema managers say that though overseas blockbusters have lessened screening opportunities for domestic productions, the demand is still there for home made films.
An audience said, "I like home made films, especially those which can display the beauty of our Chinese language. "
Film makers say to expand the marketplace for home made films, the very first thing to do is to provide a guaranteed platform where audience can see these films. They believe the launch of the 18 halls dedicated to local cinema is an encouraging sign. To ensure the smooth operation of these halls, local authorities are also considering issuing awards to these hall operators.