Genre trends in Chinese-language cinema

Lecture: Post-Pandemic Era: Different Genre Trends in Chinese-Language Cinema in Mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan
By Peggy Chiao
Friday, November 10, 2023, 3:00 PM- 5:00 PM
Meyerson Conference Room (WCH 4.118)
University of Texas, Austin

After the pandemic, films in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan have evolved into different genres, reflecting the societal changes and collective consciousness in these three regions. My speech will focus on the development of various genres and how the diverse economic, social, and political situations behind them have resulted in these distinctions. Film markets worldwide went through a hiatus during the pandemic for several years. In Mainland China, after COVID-19, the film industry welcomed a thriving box-office boom. It developed new genres and saw innovation in creativity, aesthetics, and marketing strategies, posing a significant threat to the traditionally dominant Hollywood films. In contrast, Hong Kong and Taiwan had been targeting the Mainland Chinese market before the pandemic, leading to a divide within their domestic film industries regarding whether to ‘go north’ (literally translated as “North Drifter,” referring to those working in the Mainland). During the pandemic, the ‘going north’ trend came to a halt due to travel restrictions and regulations. Interestingly, both regions witnessed a surge in their local film industries. Hong Kong experienced a rise in small independent films, often with subversive socio-political undertones. Taiwan’s film industry, on the other hand, focused on survival and developing niche genre films with established markets.

Peggy Chiao, a globally renowned Taiwanese/Chinese filmmaker, producer, distributor, educator, juror, critic, and author, is widely recognized as the “godmother of New Taiwan Cinema.” She founded Arc Light Films and produced a diverse array of films spanning various genres and themes. Chiao is a strong advocate for nurturing emerging talents in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China. She has been celebrated for her pivotal role in introducing New Taiwan Cinema to the world, helping define its distinctive aesthetics and representation of cultural and historical themes. Throughout her illustrious career, Chiao authored more than 80 books. She is a proud alumna of the University of Texas and, prior to her retirement, served as a film professor at the Taipei National University of the Arts for several decades.

Sponsored by: The Center for Taiwan Studies; Co-Sponsored by The Julian Suez Excellence Endowment in Chinese Studies, China Endowment, and Center for East Asian Studies.

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