Feng Xiaogang fires on Hollywood

08:27, June 18, 2010      

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<center class="t091105">Feng Xiaogang (Photo: Global Times)The first industry summit at the 13th Shanghai International Film Festival, titled "New Front for Industry Collaboration between China and Hollywood," took place Sunday, with major players from both industries in attendance, including Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein; Robert Pisano, president and chief operating officer of the Motion Picture Association of America; and Bona International Film Group president Yu Dong.

But local director Feng Xiaogang dominated the summit, arguing that it is impractical for the Chinese film industry to pursue worldwide popularity simply by working with Hollywood filmmakers, and calling Weinstein a "fraud in local directors' eyes."

Feng and Weinstein disagreed at the beginning of the summit, when Feng said Chinese filmmakers should focus on the local market, instead of having illusions of profit in overseas cinemas. Weinstein cited Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero as two Chinese films popular in America, before he left the summit to catch a flight.

"These two films are mere survivors, while too many other Chinese films have failed," Feng said, even though his opponent had left. "Strictly speaking, both films are not pure Chinese productions, let alone representing the country's whole film industry."

Weinstein is a regular Hollywood partner with Chinese filmmakers, but Feng said, "Many Chinese directors used to think him a savior to our industry, but now they all called him a 'fraud.'"

Though Weinstein just finished working with Feng's film company Huayi Brothers on an epic film called Shanghai, Feng accused Weinstein of resorting to tricks when buying Chinese films' distribution copyrights in America. "He usually promises a very high price, like eight million US dollars, and pays a small amount as a deposit before we start shooting a film to shut out other competitors," Feng said. "But after we finish shooting, he will refuse to take the film until we accept a much lower price, like one million US dollars."

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