The 6th Beijing International Film Festival (BIFF) will be held at the capital from April 19 to 21.
Creativity in the film market is the central theme of this year's festival, said Bian Jianguo, vice secretary-general of BIFF's organizing committee and deputy inspector of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. The committee also encourages originality in film production, training of young directors and newcomers and further analysis of the future of China's film market.
"Film market" will be a major focus at this year's BIFF, alongside comprehensive service platforms to promote the display, promotion, exchange and trade of films.
BIFF is now the biggest film market in Asia. According to Xinhua, number of venture capital projects for this year's BIFF reached 674 in 40 days, a sharp rise of 48% compared to 219 projects received last year. Thirty-six projects were signed last year, amounting to 13.84 billion yuan ($2.14 billion), which is a year on year increase of 32%, surpassing other film festivals in Asia, including the Tokyo Film Festival.
"China's film market is growing very quickly. In 2009, China was ranked 10th in film markets around the world. In 2012, China replaced Japan as the world's second largest film market. The Beijing International Film Festival has only been established for six years, but it is also growing at favorable speed. It is already the most important and widely acknowledged film festival in China. We can say that BIFF is an important platform for exchange among filmmakers and films," commented Miao Xiaotian, vice secretary-general of BIFF and general manager of China Film Co-Production Corporation.
Gao Shouzhi, founder of film big data analyzing company Entgroup, believes venture capital projects at BIFF prove two points.
"First, it is a sign of how hot the domestic film market is. Second, it shows that the industry is slowly recognizing the projects signed at the film market of BIFF, and that BIFF is becoming a leading hatching platform for newcomers in China."
According to data by Entgroup, who is organizing this year's BIFF, the majority of participants at this year's exhibition are production companies (44%). Roughly 12.5% (and the proportion has increased over the years) are marketing and film agencies, which shows the increasing emphasis placed on copyrights and IP. Moreover, film technology companies and enterprises accounted for 10%, roughly double of that last year, and promotion enterprises and institutions stand at 26%, also a large increase from last year.