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    "Chinese Wave" Coming To Pusan International Film Festival

    This year's PIFF will hold a record 103 world premieres out of its 308 total films, and is heavily weighted towards independent filmmakers from China and throughout Asia.
    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Fashion

    Directors Like Zhang Yimou, Stars Like Tang Wei Taking Part In Festival#

    This Thursday, the 15th annual Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) is set to kick off in South Korea, and as is the case every year, Chinese movies will dominate the 8-day-long festival. This year's PIFF will hold a record 103 world premieres out of its 308 total films, and is heavily weighted towards independent filmmakers from China and throughout Asia. However, some of the biggest names from the Chinese film industry abound, with Zhang Yimou's "Under the Hawthorn Tree," set during China's Cultural Revolution, opening the festival, and films by directors Feng Xiaogang (Aftershock), Jia Zhangke (I Wish I Knew) and John Woo (Reign of Assassins) also being shown over the course of the week.

    According to the AFP, the dominance of Chinese films at events like the Pusan International Film Festival reflect the rapid growth and development of Chinese cinema, driven by rising interest and the country's expanding middle class:

    Cinemas are mushrooming in China -- on average about one new screen opens every day, according to the state-run China Film Group.



    Box office receipts in China are expected to break the 1.5-billion-dollar mark this year -- up from 909 million dollars last year -- and already the industry has seen a rise of more than 80 percent in ticket sales in 2010.

    Though the Chinese film industry is growing rapidly, it's important to bear in mind that this is only the tip of the iceberg. As filmmaker Jia Zhangke told Jing Daily earlier this year, most of China's cinemas are concentrated in the more prosperous urban areas, while the majority of the country's population is located in more remote, rural areas. This means that the real potential for film in China has only begun to be tapped. As Jia told us:

    [D]evelopment in the Chinese film industry has been a bit unbalanced. Up to this point, most movie theatres have been concentrated in China’s large, developed cities – for example, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Wuhan. These huge cities make up the bulk of box office receipts. But actually, most of the 1.3 billion people in China are distributed throughout villages and small towns. So on the one hand, it’s unbalanced, but on the other hand I see it as an opportunity for the Chinese film industry, because if in the future more theaters are built in more remote areas, it’s going to be really powerful. This is from a development perspective.

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