Posts Tagged ‘industry’

The Future of Chinese Filmmaking: Made in U.S.?

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

Sally Liu came from Beijing to get her MFA at Columbia University. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Back in 2005 when I started as a freshman studying film at Boston University, I was one of only two foreign-born Chinese film students there. I remember the surprised look that people often gave me when they learned about my major. At the time, it was rare to see a student from mainland China taking on film as her major, especially at the undergraduate level.

My reason for studying film was a straightforward one. I fell in love with the medium in high school, and I wanted to become a filmmaker. I could also intuit an impending bright future for Chinese cinema, given its vast unexploited market. In this sense I probably have much in common with the thousand or so Chinese film students in the U.S. today.

This is why Los Angeles Times reporter John Horn’s Oct. 2 article “Reel China: Land of Cinematic Opportunity” makes me feel excited about the path I chose. In the article, he describes the trend of U.S.-bound Chinese film students, the pull and push factors for this trend, the challenges faced by the students, their aspirations, and the reality that they face once they complete the programs. Each of these points reminds me of my own experiences and those of my friends’. I can’t help but wonder, if we are being identified as a group, how will we do collectively ten or fifteen years from now? And how do we prepare for the future?