Golden Bear award winning film sold copyright worldwide

Golden Bear award winning film sold copyright worldwide

2014/4/25

As the first Chinese actor to win the Silver Bear for Best Actor at this year's Berlin International Film Festival, Liao Fan can take credit for the success of Black Coal, Thin Ice after news of his surprise win swamped social media.


The blockbuster, in which Liao plays the lead, attracted audiences previously unheard of for a film noir. It led Chinese films showcased at foreign film festivals by raking in more than 100 million yuan ($16.1 million) at the box office since it opened on March 21.


The number was beyond expectations of many industry insiders.


During the Berlin festival in February, the film's management team signed a contract with a Dutch company for the sale of the film's copyright in overseas markets.


The Dutch company offered an insurance mechanism, which is rare for Chinese movies, the film producer Wan Juan told 21st Century Business Herald.


The mechanism meant the management team could still be paid even if the copyright was not sold.


However it was not needed as several film companies and cinemas overseas showed interest in the film due to its outstanding domestic performance.


To date copyright for Black Coal, Thin Ice has been sold to more than 20 countries including the United States, France and Germany. In France, it is due to be released in June this year, according to Jiefang Daily.


Diao Yinan, the film's director, told the newspaper that Chinese film directors should "shoot movies that can earn money from both Chinese and foreign audiences" and "the film copyright can be sold at least at a few tens of millions of yuan".


Diao said he hopes there will be a time when Chinese people will regain their confidence in the cultural industry.


As his first large commercial work, the film also won Golden Bear for best film in Berlin.


He said at first he wrote the script in line with the principles of Iranian art film, which he prefers, and refused to take commercial advice when looking for investment.


"I then realized that it makes no point if the movie can not be shot, no matter how good it could be", he said.


Diao admitted some of the emotional scenes between the leading actor and actress were added for commercial reasons.


"I hope the film is the most commercial one among art-house films and the most art-house film among the commercial type of movies," he said.


Telling a story of love and redemption caused by murder, the film is a salute to film noir in the 1940s.


Some audiences said they "had not quite understand the plot" in feedback, but Diao said that was "normal and within his expectations".


He said if every audience member had understood the whole film he would be worried, as he dislikes straightforward expression in movies.


(Source: China Daily)




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