The sites of historical interest in China are not only tourist destinations but also a rich trove of stories for global filmmakers, Stephanie Xu, president of U.S.-Asia Innovation Gateway (USAIG), said on Sunday.
A Silicon Valley-based group is working with the director and writer of the 1998 animated film Mulan and other Hollywood filmmakers to produce a documentary film for Huangpi District in Wuhan City, the birthplace of the Chinese folklore heroine Mulan, in central China.
The group is trying to connect Chinese historical and cultural cities with Hollywood and Bollywood filmmakers to promote Chinese culture and facilitate China-themed film and television projects.
They are also planning a celebration event in the Chinese city for the 20th anniversary of the film as a result of a three-day visit by the veteran filmmakers to the city last month, said Stephanie Xu, president of U.S.-Asia Innovation Gateway (USAIG), on Sunday. Her group is committed to advancing economic and cultural opportunities between the United States and Asia.
During the visit, seven Hollywood filmmakers, including the screenwriter and director of the 1998 film Mulan, met with local scholars and experts, who gave the filmmakers their books on Mulan as a gift.
The stories like Mulan appeal to an international audience even today, said Raymond Singer, the screenwriter of the film Mulan.
"Mulan yearns to develop who she truly is and to share that gift unhesitatingly with those she loves and serves," he explained. "She brings honor to her family in a most surprising way and, more importantly, receives the gift of the recognition and love on her terms, for who she is."
Singer said the trip was "a journey of gratitude to China and to Mulan" because after completing the screenplay for the film, he and his wife travelled to southern China to adopt their daughter, who is 24 now.
"To give Mulan's birth story the same presence as our daughter's is very exciting to me," he said.
USAIG, has organized three "Hollywood Masters' China Trips" since last year. Those trips have brought dozens of Hollywood filmmakers to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and other cities.
"I found our Hollywood friends know very little of China's cultural and historical sites, so we are going to focus on historical cities for our next trip," said Xu. "We hope they can make more China-themed movies through discovering China's culture and history."
The group will invite some Hollywood filmmakers from India to participate in the next China trip in October. The trip is expected to bring 12 to 15 filmmakers to the famous ancient capitals of Xi'an and Luoyang, said Xu.