Forum explores international distribution of Chinese films at BJIFF

Movies serve as vital conduits for cultural exchange, bridging diverse audiences from around the world. Amid the ongoing Beijing International Film Festival, industry professionals from around China and beyond recently convened to deliberate on the global cinematic landscape, share creative insights, and explore avenues for collaboration.

Under the theme “Enlightened by Films, United as One,” a forum was organized to foster exchanges between Chinese and foreign filmmakers. A prominent panel spotlighted the experiences and prospects related to the international distribution of Chinese films.


The global success of such cinematic exports as “The Wandering Earth 2,” “Hidden Blade” and “Lost in the Stars” has underscored China’s cinematic breadth, captivating audiences across borders with narratives that transcend traditional martial arts themes.

London-based distributor Trinity CineAsia has been playing a pivotal role in extending the reach of acclaimed Chinese films like “Creation of the Gods” and “The Wandering Earth 2.” Co-founder Cedric Behrel outlined the company’s mission to expand the accessibility of Chinese cinema to a wider global audience.

Behrel said: “Primarily, we target the Chinese-speaking audience. But, of course, our job is to make mainstream Chinese films more accessible to a larger audience. So, we have a lot of work to do in promoting the films, such as organizing press screenings, getting the local media involved, and finding angles that can attract the local audience.”

However, venturing into international markets presents its share of challenges. Stephanie Lee, regional content manager at Westec Media, highlighted the intricacies of translation and cultural nuances, which pose hurdles in connecting with diverse audiences.

“The challenge we face is the loss in translation. Since many audiences in Southeast Asia may not understand Mandarin, when we translate it into English or local languages, they might have trouble grasping the original meaning and also miss out on some jokes,” Lee explained.

Despite these obstacles, the trajectory of Chinese cinema abroad continues to evolve, driven by a surge in quality and diversity. Sony Pictures’ acquisition of the remake rights for “Hi, Mom” underscores this trend, opening doors for Chinese cinema to explore fresh avenues overseas.

The forum served as a pivotal platform for filmmakers from China and abroad to engage in substantive dialogues and cultivate potential collaborations. These cross-cultural exchanges promise to enrich the global cinematic landscape, fostering a deeper appreciation for diverse storytelling traditions.