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Indian Film Inspires Chinese Filmmakers to Look for Collaborations

© AP Photo / Andy WongChinese women take a selfie with a poster of Indian Bollywood blockbuster film "Dangal" on display at a cinema in Beijing.
Chinese women take a selfie with a poster of Indian Bollywood blockbuster film Dangal on display at a cinema in Beijing. - Sputnik International
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Bollywood star Aamir Khan’s blockbuster film Dangal has impressed audiences at the second BRICS film festival in China’s Chengdu. Experts said Dangal's success indicated that more Chinese want to know the real India and the government should leverage it to showcase India's soft power.

BBC East - Norwich - sign - Sputnik International
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New Delhi (Sputnik) — The film has already set new box office records at the Chinese box office. The assembled filmmakers and actors also brainstormed on ways to collaborate to anchor the soft power of the five-nation group.

“Dangal has inspired Chinese filmmakers. Its actors are now megastars in our country though there wasn’t a lot of promotion for it in China. I think Indian films really taught us a lesson this time. Chinese audiences are easily moved by such simple, straightforward and beautiful stories,” The Hindu quoted Lu Chuan, Chinese film director, as saying in Chengdu, which is hosting the second BRICS film festival. The first film festival of the five emerging economies was held in New Delhi last year.

Experts said Dangal’s success is also linked to China’s attempt to expand its global outreach and to understand India better.

“This is part of China going global. Also, Chinese TV channels are now covering and showing a variety of stuff now. In Dangal’s case, the fact that President Xi Jinping mentioned to PM Narendra Modi of having seen it, made it popular again among Chinese, who feel that it shows them the real India. The government should leverage it to the hilt as it constitutes a massive soft power India has,” Dr Swaran Singh, Professor at the School of International Studies at the New Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University and a noted expert in Chinese affairs, told Sputnik.

Utensils placed on a mud wall shelf adorned with Bollywood film star posters are seen in a room owned by a cotton picker's family in Meeran Pur village, north of Karachi November 23, 2014 - Sputnik International
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This year’s film festival also saw the contribution of short films from member countries. Five filmmakers, including India’s Madhur Bhandarkar, Jia Zhang-Ke from China and Jahmil T. Qubeka from South Africa, contributed short films to the 110-minute compilation.

The stories mostly focused on hope, the neglect of the elderly and the fear of the future. Bhandarkar’ film Mumbai Mist focused on the plight of the old, in Mumbai, India’s financial capital.

As part of identifying new talent and promoting capacity building in the BRICS in the area of cinema, a Chinese official announced that the Beijing Film Academy would offer 40 fully sponsored undergraduate and doctoral scholarships for budding filmmakers in the five emerging economies. An exchange program for promising students has also been envisaged.

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