Greek cinema: making inroads into China

Greek cinema: making inroads into China

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Greek Culture Minister Ms Lydia Koniordou discussed with Chinese officials the promotion of Greek cinema in China as well as the prospects for increasing co-productions and other cooperation schemes with Chinese producers.

During her official visit to China, Greek Culture & Sports minister, Ms Lydia Koniordou, held discussions with Chinese officials concerning the promotion of Greek cinema in China as well as increasing co-productions and other cooperation schemes with Chinese producers.

On 18 September, Ms Koniordou met with members of SARFT, the Chinese authority for radio/television and cinema issues. SARFT Deputy Minister Zhang Haosen welcomed the Greek Minister, stressing their recent meeting in Athens, last April, at the inauguration of the Greece-China Year of Cultural Exchanges, when he and Ms Koniordou signed an agreement on co-productions and an agreement concerning the translation of 50 Chinese and Greek plays in the next 5 years. Mr Zhang then briefly referred to the main trends in Chinese cinema, its steady increase in the number of cinema halls (9100) and screens (48,000) internationally, as well as its ranking in second place after the North American market. He also underlined the importance of developing co-production schemes.

On her part, Ms Koniordou referred to the adoption of a new legislative framework that provides incentives, such as rebates and tax returns, in order to attract audiovisual productions, and the advancement of a new Film Commission.
Both sides placed emphasis on the need for better communication, exchanges, film weeks, participation in Film Festivals, as well as the importance of presence of representatives from SARFT and Greek organizations at festivals in Greece and China, so that Greek producers get better acquainted with the Chinese film market.

The collaboration between the Greek Film Centre and the Greek Film Archive with the China Film Archives, the joint organization of exchanges and participation in artistic festivals, such as those of Beijing and Shanghai, as well as the organization of cinema weeks are some of the actions that will be undertaken under the Greek-China Year of Cultural Exchanges.

At a meeting of Ms Koniordou with SARFT and China Film Archives executives, Ms Koniordou stressed the dynamism of Greek film production, the international distinctions awarded to Greek directors and the excellent prospects for collaboration, especially in the field of co-productions. Having praised the quality of Greek cinema, its rich, full in philosophical symbolism, background and the possibilities for cinema to make Greece better known in China, SARFT General Manager Yan Chengsheng referred to the prospects for partnerships in this field as well as to translations. In turn, China Film Archives Vice President Zhang Xiaoguang underlined the Chinese side's willingness to boost co-productions with Greece and the collaboration with Greek organizations such as the Greek Film Centre.