China's burgeoning movie market has witnessed exponential growth in recent years. February's box office takings have just been announced and they exceeded the three billion yuan mark, setting a new record.
"The Monkey King" yielded a whopping one billion yuan in February alone, with "Dad, where are we going?" hot on its heels taking 600 million. "Beijing Love Story" broke the 100 million yuan mark on its opening day - a bumper month for China's movie market.
A total of six movies passed the 100 million yuan, an accolade formerly reserved for the likes of Zhang Yimou and Feng Xiaogang just a a few years ago. These figures are further testimony to the fact that China has entered a new movie era, with a new generation of film practitioners, and audiences, coming through.
And it's not just at home. The 64th Berlin Film Festival saw Chinese film "Black Coal, Thin Ice", written and directed by Diao Yinan, win the festival's top prizes - the Golden and Silver Bear awards. The film merges themes of crime and romance, and, as the director says, incorporates commercial elements without losing its art house feel.
"A certain amount of commercial elements make it easier to be received by the market. You can't just make a film for self-endorsement or simply for film screening events," Diao said.
"The film has showcased a different aspect of Chinese film to international festivals. Meanwhile, it has also introduced a new director to the market," said producer Wan Juan.
A new generation of filmmakers have emerged in China. How they can make a lasting difference to the future of the country's movie market, remains to be seen.
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