Shanghai: Previously-Banned Producer Nai An Now Hails Chinese Film Funding

Variety | 6/16/2019 | Rebecca Davis
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At a panel on indie film production at the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival, Chinese and foreign producers discussed the shifting funding landscape for their projects over the years.

Nai An, the longtime collaborator of controversial sixth generation Chinese filmmaker Lou Ye, kicked off the talk with a look back at her producing career, which has spanned the entire range of his works from 2000’s “Suzhou River” to last year’s“The Shadow Play.” The two of them both received five-year bans over 2006’s “Summer Palace,” which depicted the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and was screened at the Cannes Film Festival without the permission of government censors.

Decade - Europe - Arthouse - Funding - China

A decade ago, she was forced to look to Europe for arthouse funding, which was largely unavailable in China. Her first seven or eight films were all made with foreign investment, she said — circumspectly sidestepping the issue that most of them were also banned in her home country. But now, “things are changing.”

Europe’s economy is faltering, and many entities have cut down on budgets once designated for Asian or Chinese directors, she said. More Chinese filmmakers have also learned about such channels, making fierce competition for finance .

China - Economy - Meantime - Prospects - China

More importantly, China’s economy has, in the meantime, boomed. Financing prospects within China have improved thanks to “a huge amount of hot money, but also more and more professional funding sources that have emerged over time,” she said.

“There’s now a huge amount of capital in China,” she said. “I suggest that young directors try to find their funding here.” The statement was notable coming from a producer with so...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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