Singapore/Shanghai - Hollywood and China's entertainment industry must work together to address a number of challenges before the film market there can reach its full potential. This was the message delivered to almost 500 Chinese government officials and key film industry executives today by Bob Pisano, President and Interim CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America.
During his keynote speech at a forum of the 13th Shanghai International Film Festival, Pisano highlighted the economic importance of the motion picture industry. "The worldwide entertainment industry is one of the leading sources of new venture creation, employing hundreds of thousands of individuals with skills ranging from acting to carpentry. It contributes billions of dollars to the world economy annually and has demonstrated the capacity for near-exponential growth," said Pisano.
Pisano touched on how free access for films is the way for local film industries to expand their capabilities through increased investment and collaborations. "An open international market can produce benefits for all concerned-studios, industry employees, consumers and governments alike" said Pisano.
Stressing the need to further liberalize the country's film market and better fight piracy as necessary to the creative industry's continued prosperity, Pisano reiterated the commitment of MPAA and its members companies to help "...nations to create strong and sustainable business models that enable them to produce more films, to increasingly use more local talent, to win international recognition for their products, to compete on equal footing with films produced by other nations and to profit from our communal endeavors".
China is now is one of the biggest movie markets globally. While the rest of the world is still recovering from the worst economic recession in several decades, the market in China has demonstrated exceptional resilience. This year's box office got off to a record-breaking start with Hollywood's 3D blockbuster "Avatar," which grossed close to US$200 million dollars in China. Box office revenue has grown from US$120 million in 2003 to US$909 million in 2009. The number of movie screens from 2003 to 2009 quintupled to more than 5,000 - with an average of close to two movie screens being added to the market each day.
Originated in 1993, SIFF is China's premiere and the only A-category film festival accredited by FIAPF. Organized by the Shanghai Media and Entertainment Group, the 13th SIFF runs from June 12 to 20 during the World Expo in Shanghai.