Trading devil Fish and Monkey kings: French and Chinese film industry policies and exchanges 1978-1993

Wesley JACKS*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


In the first years of China’s Opening and Reform period, the China Film Corporation and a combination of French film institutions and individuals established a robust import/export exchange that sent dozens of film titles in both directions. These Sino-French connections have been largely overlooked in scholarly histories of both film industries at this time. This is, in part, because France and China each had more economically valuable and/or culturally proximate foreign partners. However, marginal global cinema flows offer their own valuable insights into the operation of media industries. This paper examines the conditions that allowed this connection to emerge, the ability for personnel on each side to strike mutually-beneficial deals, and the dissolution of the exchanges. It draws critical parallels between the mid-20th century establishment of French and Chinese film policy frameworks and argues policy similarities and a new confluence of domestic and international film industry conditions enabled this rich connection between 1978-1993.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-602
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Policy
Issue number5
Early online date12 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

The germination of this article began while working as a graduate researcher for the UC-Santa Barbara Mellichamp Cluster under the very capable guidance of Prof. Michael Curtin.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Film distribution
  • media policy
  • Chinese film
  • French film
  • transnational cinema


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