The China Film Makers Forum discusses turning Haikou into 'Oriental Hollywood'.
Hainan announced a slew of new policies for its film industry over the weekend in Haikou, provincial capital of the tropical island, in a move to reach faster the goal of building an "Oriental Hollywood" in China.
"A maximum of 5 million yuan (9,645) subsidies will be awarded to those who register a film production company with 10 million yuan in Haikou and the bottom line restriction for registration has been canceled," said Ni Qiang, mayor of Haikou, at the China Film Makers Forum in Haikou on Friday.
The new incentives, seen by experts as the most favorable in the country, cover a long list, including corporate income, personal income tax, urban construction tax and private house purchasing.
"Filmmakers who produce movies featuring Hainan stories and bring forth good social influences will get big extra bonus from the provincial government,'' said Ni.
Ding Hui, Hainan's top official in charge of cultural and sports undertakings, said at the forum that film production will be a top priority industry for Hainan, which has been busy establishing itself as an international tourism island, a national strategy since 2010.
"New measures will encourage outside investors to put their money in the core businesses of filmmaking in Hainan and further benefit related sectors such as performance, tourism, hospitality management, costumes and food services," said Ding.
Film directors, screenwriters and producers from the Chinese mainland, Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and the United States attending the forum were attracted by the new policies.
"The beautiful landscapes and preferential policies on taxation are very attractive and this also a good opportunity for us. I know two US producers have shown interest in jointly making films in Hainan with their Chinese counterparts,'' said Michael Shamberg, a US film producer at the forum.
"I think I should let other producers know there is such a place like Hainan," he said.
Director He Ping and a number of other Chinese and foreign filmmakers suggested that the local government should sure the preferential policies are a long-term measure to ensure sustainable development of the film production industry. They also called for training of much-needed professional talent to serve the local film production.
Natural advantages--good ecological environment, diversified resources and superb air quality - have made Hainan a natural photo studio. In addition, Haikou has built basic infrastructures for filmmaking, said Ni, the mayor.
"Haikou boasts the country's largest single indoor photo studio, strong scene and stage property building teams. The city's cultural industry park, which focuses on filmmaking, animation games, copyright trading, screenwriting, has attracted more than 100 companies since opening in June this year."
By 2018, more than 500 film production firms will settle in the park, added Ding, saying that Haikou will also introduce international knowhow and standards for the film industry.
The Feng Xiaogang Photostudio, built in 2012 by Feng Xiaogang, film director well-known for his comedies and New Year celebration films, has become a hot tourist attraction and a business card for Haikou.
The directors contributed ideas for construction of film bases in Hainan, Director Feng spoke about telling Chinese stories through films and discussed with foreign counterparts issues of market trends and the urgency of cultivating and improving the quality of film audience.