The Chinese Embassy, in collaboration with Multicinemas Trinidad Ltd (Movie Towne), will present “The Chinese Film Festival” from March 6 to 12. For the Trinidad and Tobago audience who are familiar with Hollywood and Bollywood, this will be a great opportunity to have a glimpse of the Chinese film industry of over 100 years of development .
The first ever Chinese film was a recording of a Beijing Opera, The Battle of Dingjunshan, made in November 1905 by a foreign-owned company, and China’s domestic film industry, which mainly centred around Shanghai, the largest city in the Far East then, did not start until 1916.
The 1930s saw the first “golden period” of Chinese cinema, when the first group of big Chinese movie stars – Hu Die, Ruan Lingyu, Zhou Xuan – became known and are still remembered today. However, this golden run in the Chinese cinema was abruptly ended by the Japanese invasion of China, and in particular the occupation of Shanghai.
The Chinese film industry entered a new development period after the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Films, as vivid records of the times, started to cover all areas of development in China, and big studios spread to large cities other than Shanghai, including Beijing, Changchun, Guangzhou. Meanwhile, teaching, training, distribution and projection, aesthetic and artistic research and other relevant fields were constantly raised to new levels. The general framework for the Chinese film industry became increasingly complete, and the technical and cultural support behind grew stronger.
The reform and opening-up policy of 1978 injected new vitality into the Chinese film industry. Chinese film artistes created a screen myth not only for the Chinese audience, but also for the world. The new generation of Chinese film directors, while venturing to explore new issues confronting the people in the age of development, and innovating new film styles, pushed the Chinese film industry into a new world of individuality and modernisation, and established the fame and prestige of the Chinese film industry worldwide.