Following the UK trade delegation to China last December, during which a landmark film co-production treaty was agreed, the BFI has declared a year of business, trade, creative and cultural collaborations between the UK and China.

BFI specific activity, entitled Electric Shadows (the Chinese term for movies or dian ying), will include BFI exhibition, archive, digital, education, theatrical and DVD distribution and publishing initiatives, with the aim of opening up previously hard to see Chinese cinema to UK audiences and making UK film accessible to what will soon become the world’s biggest box office nation.

The BFI is working alongside partners throughout the year, including the British Council, DCMS, UKTI and the GREAT Britain Campaign.

Electric Shadows
starts with a visit in February from Chinese film director Feng Xiaogang, hosted by the BFI. To complement Spectacular China, a season of his films throughout the month, a special Gala screening of Back to 1942, China’s official entry for this year’s Academy Awards, and an on-stage career interview with Feng will be held at BFI Southbank on 21st February.

Alongside a UK presence at FILMART, Hong Kong’s International Film & TV Market in March, the BFI and the British Council will work with the Beijing International Film Festival in April to lead a trade delegation and present British film at the festival.

From June until October the BFI will continue its Electric Shadows programme by staging an exploration of Chinese cinema in the UK, A Century of Chinese Cinema.

A programme of contemporary and historic British film from the BFI and partners, including TIFF and the British Council, will be shown in Beijing in the Autumn alongside a newly restored and rare collection of early non-fiction Chinese films (1901-1930’s) from the BFI National Archive.

Amanda Nevill, BFI ceo said, "China is becoming one of the most important cultural and economic partners for film and is a key territory in the BFI’s international strategy for film. With this celebratory year, the BFI puts words into action by presenting a programme packed with dynamic economic, creative and cultural partnerships to foster this hugely important territory and the largest and fastest growing film audience in the world."

Pippa Considine

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