October 19, 2015
Source: Western Economic Daily
The 4th China Jiayuguan International Short Film Festival
--“For Immortal Reality”
On the evening of October 15th, a seminar themed Hexi Corridor was held followed by Documentary plus New Media Communication Forum on the next morning. In the afternoon of October 17th, a summit titled Documentary plus ∞ was held, including four sub-forums Documentary plus Industrialization, Documentary plus ∞, Documentary plus TV Series and Documentary plus Tourism. In addition, in the morning of October 18th, a multi-themed forum was run, which included Face-to-Face Creation academic forum, Top Ten academic symposium and micro-documentary alliance themed forum. During the festival, lasting for two days and a half, nearly ten forums and seminars were prepared for participants’ face-to-face communication.
The Summit Forum is always the most interesting segment of any festival, as it provides practitioners and world famous celebrities with the opportunity to enjoy an exchange and discussion of ideas. What’s more, the top stars can share their professional experiences in person, which is valuable for the public. While we could not expect to gather all the industrial practitioners to one festival, given that the documentary is not the most popular part of film festivals across the country, we are delighted to see the 4th China Jiayuguan International Short Film Festival, with its gradual growth, has now attracted more and more attention from the industry.
In the autumn of 2012, the first Jiayuguan International Short Film Festival was held in Jiayuguan. This festival included Gansu Theme Day, Summit Forum, Short Film Screening, Copyright Trading as well as press conference. The documentary Hexi Corridor pitched on the first festival has been released and become a hit. The attendance of celebrated documentary film makers from home and abroad and the Korea Theme Day held in October 17th have clearly internationalized the festival. After four years since the first festival, a short film exhibition named after Jiayuguan has evolved to focus on the development of the documentary in Gansu and China as a whole. For Immortal Reality is the theme of the festival this year and also reflects the life line of documentary films.
The Road to Internationalized Production and Communication for China’s Documentary Film
In 2010, the former State Administration of Radio, Film and Television issued Some Ideas on Accelerating the Development of Documentary Industry and started to support excellent domestic documentary films and producers. In 2011, the first national-level CCTV documentary channel was officially established. In 2012, A Bite of China became popular and people once again have the chance to appreciate documentary films. In 2013, the “televised documentary theme announcement system” policy was put in place and the broadcasting of 30-minute domestic documentaries began. In addition, led by the CCTV documentary channel, a broadcasting and production league, including over 150 documentary production companies and more than 100 broadcasting organizations, was founded.
During the festival of this year, reporter has provided the following data. The year 2014 had witnessed an overall growth in terms of the broadcasting of Chinese documentaries with an annual broadcasting volume of 73,267 hours, up 97.4%--nearly doubling that of 2013. The broadcasting time of debut short films is 21,026 hours, a growth of 50.1% compared to 2013.The production volume is 17,522 hours, an increase of 120% compared with 2013.In addition, the investment in documentaries by CCTV, provincial satellite television channels, provincial-level documentary channels, related ministries and commissions as well as society in general, has reached up to 1.732 billion Yuan and maintained an annual growth rate of about 20-30%. It is worth noting that the advertising expenditures for documentaries is still growing in the context of an overall decline in media advertising expenditures. The advertising revenue of the program with the highest audience rating in 2014 is 2.68 million Yuan, and the revenue of first quarter of 2015 is 1.91 million Yuan. The CCTV program Exploration and Discovery has broadcasted in 224 countries and regions around the world--1.5 billion viewers have enjoyed it per day--with an income of 6.265 billion US dollars last year.
In an interview, Zhang Tongdao, professor of Art and Media College and Director of Documentary Center of Beijing Normal University says, “Why can documentary film spread across so many different countries, populations and religions? It is because documentary film has two characteristics—beyond time and space and cross-cultural. Being cross-cultural means it is not confined by religions, political systems and peoples from various places. Everyone can understand these films in spite of different languages. As for being beyond time and space, you can learn about that in a museum. The price of a documentary before 1949 may be worth twenty thousand Yuan per minute and twelve thousand Yuan for the documentaries made before 1980.Why are these documentaries grow more valuable over time? The reason is that their recorded valueis rare and valuable.” According to Dr. Xiong Yin, Internal Chief Inspector of CITVC, We are now highlighting the development of the documentary for its international communication ability. The reason is that a documentary has stronger international acceptability and adaptation compared with other art forms like TV dramas etc.
The Development of Documentary
Cross-boundary Integration Are Key Words for the Development of A Documentary
On the forum, documentary producers often mentioned one word—cross-boundary.
Tang Ying, the main creator of the documentary Unaware China said, “It’s a general trend to blend traditional media with new ones. We have positively introduced all media to this scheme in preliminary planning, and promotion has been carried out in the initial stages of a launched creation. The intervention of new media is rewarded by the pre-heating before the official broadcasting by the traditional media.”
“New media and documentary film need to find their conjunction point and resonance point. As such, the creation of a documentary only just begins at the conclusion of filming. In my view, if the documentary producer is also the promoter, the documentary film itself can go further,” said Zhang Jianfeng, Deputy-in-Chief of Ifeng and Chief Editor of Ifeng Video when interviewed by a reporter from our newspaper.