MUMBAI: In his keynote speech at the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF), Motion Picture Association of America chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd called on the Chinese film community to broaden its engagement with the world, and suggested Hollywood expertise could help it reach its full potential.
Dodd was a guest of honor at the SIFF, and addressed an audience of 200 made up largely of senior government officials, key players in China’s domestic film industry, and international guests at the festival’s co-production forum.
“China’s movie market is a success story in the making. All the ingredients are there for China’s film industry to become a major player on the world stage, just as China has always been a major player on the world cultural stage,” said Dodd.
Dodd spoke about the important relationship between the American film industry and Chinese filmmakers, Chinese audiences and even the Chinese government. “One of my top priorities as a representative of the American film industry is to build upon that relationship, to help it deepen and blossom, so that it can form the foundation for a world class film and cultural sector,” he added.
He noted that Hollywood studios and their Chinese counterparts are coming together to share best practices, build relationships, and identify cultural touchstones that can form the basis for future projects. “But we know that the way to keep that growth continuing is to keep working to build our relationship with all sectors of the Chinese film industry – moviemakers, distributors, exhibitors,” he said.
During his visit to China as the chairman and CEO of Motion Picture Association, Dodd will be meeting with senior government and industry leaders as well as executives from the country’s leading film studios and entertainment companies.
Dodd comes at a time of exponential expansion of China’s film industry. In the last decade, the number of films produced in China has grown from dozens each year to hundreds – 526 in 2010 alone. The number of cinema screens has increased to 6,200 and is expected to more than double by 2015, to more than 16,000. And box office revenues, which passed $1.5 billion last year, are forecast to more than triple by 2015, to $5 billion.