Yang Xiaopei got here to Cannes this 12 months hoping to change what she sees as a generally held notion about what Chinese language content material creators can provide the worldwide market.
A lot has already been made about China’s epics, its tales of excessive romance and motion set in historical worlds amongst beautiful costumes. Whereas the nation’s creators are certain to nonetheless play to these strengths going ahead, Yang is a part of a rising era of studio heads who need to additionally share tales of latest China with the world.
“The diversification and caliber of Chinese language collection are flourishing,” says Yang, the founder and CEO of the Shanghai-based Xixi Footage. “Exterior of historic dramas, up to date city collection have surged in recognition in China due to their relevance and thematic richness.”
China’s position because the “Nation of Honor” on the 39th version of MIPCOM Cannes has turned the highlight on how the trade there’s evolving by way of each home and worldwide output. With greater than 300 delegates from round 40 corporations on the town, the Chinese language presence has returned to ranges seen pre-pandemic and the mantra being pushed in Cannes — because it has been on the world’s main commerce gatherings this 12 months — is that the nation is as soon as once more “open for enterprise.”
China positioned its rising ambitions as a world content material supplier entrance and heart at this 12 months’s MIPCOM with an emphasis on co-production, content material acquisition and distribution alternatives that corporations similar to Xixi Footage hope will appeal to a brand new era of worldwide companions.
Yang has been among the many audio system at a collection of seminars held as a part of the China promotion, becoming a member of actor/creator Hu Ge (A Inexperienced Journey) and Juan Wang, vice-president and chief editor of Tencent On-line Video, for a dialogue titled, “China: the place Tales Evolve,” the place she shared the story of Xixi’s development and its plans for future growth throughout world markets.
Yang based Xixi Footage in 2020 after an early profession that noticed her transfer from the huge Shanghai Media Group conglomerate into China’s ever-expanding tv drama market.
As an government producer, she was behind the costume dramas Chronicle of Life and Fighter of the Future — each of which discovered big home audiences in addition to reaching into Southeast Asian markets. Yang then expanded her focus to embody what she labels “up to date realism,” with collection like The King’s Avatar, which units itself around the globe of eSports and on-line gaming.
Since founding Xixi Footage, Yang has produced costume dramas similar to Historic Love Poetry and Who Guidelines the World together with an additional growth of the idea of latest realism with The Youth Recollections, a coming-of-age drama set within the Seventies, and Alliance, which seems on the lives of a gaggle of ladies in modern-day Shanghai.
Who Guidelines the World was picked up by Netflix after a profitable run on Chinese language streamer Tencent’s world platform WeTV, whereas the plan for Alliance is for streaming on the digital and new media distributor Jetsen Huashi Wangju’s Youtube platform, as nicely through offers signed with the likes of Viki (United States), ITalkBB and KT (South Korea), Astro (Malaysia) and PPCT (Cambodia).
Yang offered two new Xixi productions throughout her time in Cannes: one other costume drama in The Final Immortal, and one other female-oriented drama with Her Islands. Each are slated for This autumn 2023 and Q1 2024 releases, respectively.
The sequel to Historic Love Poetry, The Final Immortal continues to tread floor that is perhaps acquainted to worldwide audiences — by way of its temper and visuals, not less than — because it’s set in a world of gods battling demons and follows its central characters’ journey as they “remodel into their finest selves,” in response to a Xixi synopsis.
“This collection represents a contemporary strategy, fusing parts of the historic fantasy style with the construction of street motion pictures, aiming to supply viewers an progressive viewing expertise,” Yang says.
Her Islands, in the meantime, seems into points affecting up to date China, and the ever-evolving relationship between a mom whose marriage is on the rocks and the daughters who’re making an attempt, in their very own other ways, to assist her address the state of affairs, whereas additionally making an attempt to make their very own means on this planet. Impressed by classical Chinese language poetry, the collection “employs the metaphor of ‘oceans and islands’ to mirror the relationships of contemporary girls with their households and society.”
“The construction and dynamics inside Chinese language households are evolving, as are the methods feelings are expressed,” Xixi says in a press release. “Nevertheless, the underlying want for a good looking and completely satisfied life stays unchanged. Via Her Islands, we hope to supply viewers from around the globe a glimpse into the shifting dynamics and enduring values of Chinese language households,” the corporate provides.
For Yang and Xixi Footage, the hope is that what works domestically will more and more work globally, and there might be rising curiosity — and connection — with up to date tales that is perhaps set in China however have common themes.
“Xixi Footage is famend for its various TV collection, from romantic historic dramas to up to date city tales, all of which have been extensively acclaimed in China,” Yang says.
She provides: “Whereas we now have a powerful foothold within the Chinese language market, our imaginative and prescient extends past our borders. My ambition for Xixi Footage is to pioneer a path the place our content material, which embodies our ethnic traits and core tradition, can even resonate globally. We goal for Chinese language tales to be illuminated and appreciated on a worldwide platform.”