Hala China’s second “China Film Week in Dubai” set the stage for the launch of a new Chinese film distribution platform, witnessed record red-carpet attendance and featured sell-out screenings of Chinese films at Roxy Cinemas last week.
At the inaugural China-UAE Film and TV Industry Forum on 30 September, Hala China and Wisdom House Cultural Industry Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will connect companies in Dubai and China to promote cultural, technological and academic exchanges through conferences, events and activations.
Moreover, the forum witnessed a collaboration between Wisdom House Cultural Industry Group and China (Zhejiang) Film and Television Industry International Cooperation Zone - China’s first national film and television platform - that aims to enhance intercultural exchange with the Middle East by introducing films and TV shows from China into the region. The first three productions set for release are Eternal Love, a romantic fantasy starring Yang Mi and Mark Chao, which is also China’s most-watched tv series having reached over 50 billion, Red Flowers and Green Leaves, a love story exploring the fledgling romance of a Chinese Muslim couple, and Rubi, a 3D children’s animated TV shows.
Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Hala China, said: “The agreements signed and the future joint initiatives announced this week convey a clear and powerful message that the UAE and China are committed to taking significant strides forward together.
“In just one year, Hala China has redefined the relationship between the two countries. The pledges made, and the cultural and commercial activity that took place at ’China Film Week in Dubai’ are a testament to the success of our ambitious vision. We look forward to building on our achievements and coming back next year with an even bigger festival – the first-ever Golden Camel film awards ceremony.”
Jamal Al Sharif, Chairman of Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC), said: “The Chinese film industry has entered into an unprecedented ‘golden age’ and is predicted to become the world’s largest film market by 2020. Meanwhile, Dubai has continued to raise its profile as a one-stop-shop for all filming needs. We are excited to contribute to this growth and are determined to offer our partners a seamless access to Dubai’s world class infrastructure.
“Hala China has been instrumental in spear heading the efforts to bring UAE, China’s film industries closer. At the first edition of ‘China Film Week in Dubai’ we were able to forge a deeper collaboration between Dubai and China. Through sustained endeavours, such as these, we can continue to build on the leadership’s vision to build a stronger relationship between UAE and China.”
The opening night ceremony marked a 90 per cent increase in attendance compared to last year, as more than 3,800 Chinese film fans flocked to the red-carpet event at Hub Zero at City Walk on 29 September 2019 to see some of the biggest stars in Chinese film and TV launch the week-long event.
During the gala dinner that followed, Hala China presented awards to the artists and filmmakers from China in recognition of their contributions to the country’s film industry.
Throughout “China Film Week in Dubai”, Roxy Cinemas at City Walk and The Beach featured 10 major Chinese films, with each screening sold out to an eager and ever-growing Chinese film fan base in Dubai.
This year’s “China Film Week in Dubai” was supported by the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, China Film Administration and Dubai Film and TV Commission, with the objective of showcasing the best of China’s thriving film industry to Dubai audiences.
Hala China, a joint initiative by Meraas and Dubai Holding, is a unique platform that seeks to enhance economic and cultural exchange between China and Dubai, drive Chinese tourist and investment inflows to Dubai, and boost industry cooperation in areas such as filmmaking, technology and tourism. Hala China also aims to bring to fruition projects that support China’s Belt and Road Initiative.