Chinese trio share Locarno prizes

Wang Xiaoshuai among directors featured in Open Doors

LOCARNO – A trio of Chinese film projects shared CHF80,000 ($73,900) of prizes Wednesday at the Locarno Film Festival.

The projects were all presented as part of the festival's Open Doors Factory, an event which matches finance and international production partners with yet-to-be made projects in need of further funding. This year all the projects presented were from China, Hong Kong or Taiwan.

Wang Xiaoshuai's "Eleven Flowers" ("Wo Shi Yi") received a grant of $46,000 which can be used as production finance. Director-producer Yang Qing received $13,800 of development aid for his "Bus No. 8" ("Gong Lu Ba Hao"). Yang Jin received a similar amount of development aid for "Don't Expect Praises," ("Zhang Mei Cong Ming").

The three-day Factory event wrapped with a panel discussion about trends in Chinese independent filmmaking.

Jacob Wong, curator of the Hong Kong International Film Festival, pointed to an industry shaped like a dumbbell, with local blockbusters at one end and energetic independent cinema at the other. But he regretted the lack of mid-range commercial movies in between the two extremes.

Isabelle Glachant, a French producer who is based in China and recently co-produced "Nanjing Nanjing," pointed to a lack of creative and experienced producers in China. "The word 'producer' is often used to mean financier," she said. "There are very few who follow and support directors."