To serve and protect : Sino-French film industry connections from 1978-1993

Activity: Talks or PresentationsOther Invited Talks or Presentations


Among the nations that have maintained formidable barriers-to-entry surrounding their domestic media markets, China and France are (perhaps) the most acclaimed and studied. Further, when media scholars seek to explain the policy developments and industry initiatives that have enabled this pair to remain among the most heavily protected markets, they point to the influence of formidable state-backed film bodies (CNC in France; CFC in China) trying to balance three-way tensions among (1) the threat of external media dominance, (2) the pursuit of domestic industry success, and (3) the maintenance of domestic cinema ‘ideals’ – political ideology in the case of China and art cinema/auteurism in France.

Despite the presence of these echoing economic, political, and cultural forces, France and China are often addressed as ‘exceptional’ case studies. This talk does not argue the two offer equivalent conditions, but it seeks to draw out generative parallels between strategies deployed by political and film industry leadership from the late-1970s to through the mid-1990s – a period of distinct vulnerability in both industries. It compares choices made by Chinese leadership newly re-engaging with global film flows with decisions from French policymakers and studio leaders who were long accustomed to carving out their own niche in flows within Europe and across the world. It seeks to connect developments in both nations to particular features of late-20th century media globalization and to offer suggestions for future sites of comparative media research.
Period30 Nov 2021
Degree of RecognitionInstitutional