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Preferential policies helping to put areas on the silver and small screen

By YIN RUOWEI | China Daily | Updated: 2022-11-14

Xiamen in Fujian province has become an ideal film location thanks to a number of preferential policies that support the development of the film and TV industry, according to local officials.

On April 9, Xiamen's Tong'an district film and TV development center was revealed. "Since 2019, many scenes of films such as Hello Mr. Billionaire and Upcoming Summer and that of TV series like Reset and Enemy were shot in Tong'an," said Lin Shenghai, head of Tong'an's publicity department.

"We are now building a number of shooting bases and training people who can better serve the film industry. Also, we are creating a map that will display diverse shooting sites such as villages, markets and factories."

So far this year, 10 crews have shot films and TV series in Tong'an. Currently, scenes for a teen comedy to be released in the next summer are being shot in Tong'an. The comedy's producer, Xu Lei, said that 90 percent of the comedy will be filmed in Tong'an. Aoxi village in Tong'an features lively rural landscapes, which is exactly what she wanted. "The village is idyllic and therapeutic," Xu said.

Zheng Jianshe, Party secretary of Aoxi village, said: "If the film crew wants to shoot in the villagers' houses or borrow cattle and sheep for shooting, we can help." He added that Xu's crew was first to shoot in the village and he hoped that Aoxi can become famous and attract more filmmakers and tourists.

Jimei district in Xiamen, where the city's film and TV industrial park is located, has seen flourishing growth in the film and TV industry.

To date, it has more than 800 film and TV enterprises, which generated a revenue of 2 billion yuan ($275.8 million) in 2021. Industry giants such as Lian Ray Pictures, Daylight Entertainment and iQiyi have set up branches in Jimei.

In 2015, the district issued the province's first preferential policy for film and TV enterprises. Its updated version covers steps from script to shooting, production, distribution and screening. This year, the district has offered film and TV enterprises funds worth 13 million yuan.

The district also boasts a booming music industry. It is home to the province's largest music industry complex, Xiamen Tan Kah Kee Theater and Minnan Opera Arts Center. It has held a large-scale music festival for eight consecutive years, and a weekend concert in which artists perform their compositions for five years straight.

Jimei has abundant talent resources. According to local officials, there are 635 full-time art college teachers in Jimei, 288 of them hold senior titles and 150 have doctoral degrees. In Jimei, there are more than 10,000 college students majoring in film, TV production and music.

In March, Xiamen released an action plan with a focus on knocking the metaverse industry into shape by introducing and incubating a handful of enterprises. To tap into such an opportunity, experts in Jimei have been brainstorming.

"We can create virtual spaces integrating film, TV and music at Jimei's landmarks," said Zhang Yijun, director of industrial cooperation of Huayou Digital Culture Technology Research Institute.

Wang Chen, professor at Huaqiao University, noted that Jimei needs to combine the internet with the film and TV industry, and build a talent pool to enhance its independent research and development capacity.



A replica of Tian'anmen Square in Tong'an World Studios, a scenic spot in Xiamen's Tong'an district, which offers film and television services. CHINA DAILY

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