Handbook of Cultural and Creative Industries in China
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Handbook of Cultural and Creative Industries in China

Edited by Michael Keane

China is at the crux of reforming, professionalising, and internationalising its cultural and creative industries. These industries are at the forefront of China’s move towards the status of a developed country. In this comprehensive Handbook, international experts including leading Mainland scholars examine the background to China’s cultural and creative industries as well as the challenges ahead. The chapters represent the cutting-edge of scholarship, setting out the future directions of culture, creativity and innovation in China. Combining interdisciplinary approaches with contemporary social and economic theory, the contributors examine developments in art, cultural tourism, urbanism, digital media, e-commerce, fashion and architectural design, publishing, film, television, animation, documentary, music and festivals.
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Chapter 33: Spectacles, showcases, marketplaces (and even public spheres): Chinese film festivals as cultural industries

Ran Ma and Cindy Hing-Yuk Wong


Different levels of government in China are actively involved in supporting cultural industries; however, governmental interventions often compete. In focusing on film festivals, both state-sanctioned and independent, this chapter reveals the intricate processes through which Chinese film festivals and their different stakeholders negotiate amongst themselves and with the state about an entity, the festival, that itself embodies contesting demands: namely, commerce, projections of soft power, control and freedom of expression. Film festivals have never been ‘mass’ events but rather alternatives to mainstream cinema aimed at selective local and global audiences, favouring both artistic merit and oppositional inclinations. Globally, since the 1970s, concerted efforts from governments at different levels, the investment of corporate sponsors, and the participation of creative personnel have made such festivals important cultural institutions, generating international networks that wield power over non-mainstream cinema worldwide. Moreover, cities have become identified with festivals and vice versa, a symbiotic characteristic of contemporary urban policy.

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