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Why can small and medium invested Flavors of Youth allow Japanese senator and counsellor support it?

Fragrant Changsha rice flour, summer tape radio, wall mottled tube building. From the countryside to the city, from bicycles to high-speed railway and planes, the tide of change has pushed us forward, farewell to our hometown, farewell to our childhood partners and family.

With the fresh and delicate picture of Flavors of Youth, I can not help thinking back to my childhood and my first love with bad ending. Such realistic description, accompanied by soft music, arouses the homesickness of audiences.

Looking at the subtitles with the words CoMix Wave Films (Shinkai Makoto's company, hereinafter referred to as CWF), it is difficult to believe that this is a co-production film made by the Chinese screenwriter and the production of Japanese.


"CWF's idea collection team is very dedicated, before they started production, they came to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hunan for a long time, select the real scene to ensure the degree of reduction, such as Changsha rice noodles, they tried all kinds of rice noodles in the streets and experienced different flavors." Director Li Haoling said at the exchange meeting after the reflection.reflection.

Adhere to two-dimensional hand painting, with 300 hand-painted team, it took one year and a half to draw Flavors of Youth, the craftsman spirit of Shinkai Makoto team let Li Haoling feel a lot.

Fukuda, a cultural counsellor at the Japanese embassy, said: "although I have lived in China for six years, I still feel very fresh to see this animation." In the past, most of the Chinese films released in Japan were historical themes, such as Legend Of The Demon Cat, Red Cliff and so on. Flavors of Youth is the first one to tell the story of modern Chinese youth.

8 million Chinese travel to Japan every year, accounting for about 30 percent of the total number of tourists in Japan. Japanese people are very eager to learn about the life experience of the Chinese people, but there is no way.

Although the Flavors of Youth, produced jointly by China and Japan and released at the same time between the two places, is not a big production, it carries a good desire for Chinese and Japanese filmmakers to enhance exchanges and strengthen cooperation.

According to Zhang Jin, representative director of the Japan-China Cultural Industry Exchange Association and CEO of Joy Pictures, taking Flavors of Youth, as an opportunity, the film and television companies of China and Japan will try more ways of cooperation, and the introduction, export, joint development, and production will be gradually explored.

With the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the Chinese-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship and the signing of the Agreement between the Government of the people's Republic of China and the Japanese Government on Cooperative Film production on May 9, Chinese-Japanese film and television exchanges are entering a new wave of upsurge.


How to make Japanese painters understand the daily habits of Chinese youth?


You have to watch an episode of Dragon Ball before night study; attracted by the hot-blooded dream of One Piece, from teenagers to middle age; like small family in China to take a gourmet trip ….Japanese animation accompanied many of the post-80s and post-90s childhood, and Haoliners Animation founder Li Haoling is no exception.

Influenced by Japanese animation such as SLAM DUNK, the Final Weapon, he changed from architecture to animation director in the post-80s generation, and set up Haoliners Animation. Through the production of There used to be a Lingjianshan, Spiritpact and other animations, Haoliners animation, Japan STUDIO DEEN, BLADE and other animation companies established a cooperative relationship, and set up a branch in Japan.

Has been admiring Shinkai Makoto director's integrated scenery and emotion, warm and delicate style, want to use animation to leave Shanghai for more than a decade of continuous changes, Li Haoling has repeatedly issued cooperative invitations to CWF, until Your Name released for a year. 


From left to right, Li Haoling, founder of Haoliners Animation, Kawaguchi, President of CWF, and Takagan Fukuda, Cultural Counsellor of the Japanese Embassy

"I have seen a lot of early works by Shinkai Makoto Director, and I admire his ability to insist on lyricism and emotional creation in this highly commercial market in Japan. Early in 2013, when I met Mr. Kawaguchi, president of CWF, we discussed whether we could use such a beautiful picture to express China's changes in food, clothing, housing, transportation, and so on over the years. "

In order to the cooperation of Flavors of Youth , the two sides waited for many years, until both sides have a scheduled period, until the Chinese animation film market began to wake up. But this is only the first step in the long journey.

Although the CWF collection team experienced a detailed preliminary collection of materials in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other cities to explore the real scene, but it is difficult for Japanese artists to give up their daily etiquette and life style as a Japanese.

For example, the common bow in Japanese animation, Flavors of Youth must not appear. There is also a way to wait in line while waiting for the subway, the Japanese will automatically stand on a line, but when the subway stations in Beijing are crowded, passengers will stand more scattered. The Chinese team worried a lot for these details.

What troubles the Shinkai Makoto team is that the pace of work between the two sides is inconsistent. "the Japanese team is more used to doing detailed preparatory work, draw the script well, the story line is all strung up and then start work. But the Chinese team likes to do it first and change it while doing it. After the discovery of the difference, the two sides continue to improve and increase their understanding. " Mr. Kawaguchi, president of CWF, said.

In order to adapt to the different national conditions of China and Japan, Flavors of Youth has made two versions, the rhythm of Chinese version is fast, the Japanese version is a little slower.

Unlike the introduction of Japanese films in the past, the two sides are trying to cooperate in the production and distribution, joint production and distribution.


Why does Flavors of Youth choose to be shown by Arthouse Cinema?

"Flavors of Youth was not initially positioned as a commercial film, small-scale, small-scale limited release in theaters in China and Japan, and distributed globally through Netflix," said Zhang Jin, CEO of Joy Pictures.

As the second producer and publisher of the film, Zhang Jin regards Flavors of Youth as an important attempt of Joy Pictures to explore cooperation with Japanese animation and filmmakers. "the value of exploration is far greater than the consideration of the benefits of the project."

Most of the Chinese films that used to be shown in Japan are historical themes, such as Red Cliff. Last year's powerful Legend Of The Demon Cat was adapted from IP in Japan and directed by China. For the first time, Flavors of Youth is a film made by two Chinese directors and a Japanese animation company.

"So far, Japan has not had many opportunities and ways to understand the life style and ideas of young people in Chinese cities. Flavors of Youth uses Japanese 2D production technology to tell the story of China, this relatively new way of cooperation in China and Japan has attracted a lot of interest. "Adayazhi, vice president of Japan China Cultural Industry Exchange Association, said to make films together(IDyiqipaidianying)


Representive director of Japan-China Cultural Industry Exchange Association, CEO of Joy Pictures, Zhang Jin

And for a long time, China's art and animation film production rate is on the low side, every once in a while, directors and producers come forward to call for more film production. However, Zhang Jin found that the vast majority of Japanese films are not fully distributed, but choose small and medium-sized, part of the film city distribution.

"on the one hand, because of the pattern of Japanese cinema lines, several large cinema lines and distribution companies are the same, their own films are distributed in their own cinema system, relatively closed-loop. The second is because many films don't need to be sent all over the place. In addition, their release time cycle is not necessarily a month, there can be a longer release time. "

Relatively speaking, the publicity and distribution of Japanese films is more cautious and conservative, the judgment of the market, the expectation of the film box office, and the determination of the distribution scale are more precise.

On the other hand, even if the domestic film distribution budget is only a few million, but also the use of the whole line of distribution, the entire market is still in the early stage, more extensive.

"the promotion of films should indeed be based on the number and characteristics of the channels, rather than on the basis of figures that come up with or do not have a reference, or on the basis of the proportion of production costs. It must be based on box office expectations and the size of the release to push back the budget. "

In view of the promotion and distribution of Flavors of Youth, Bilibili and the National Alliance are important partners of Joy Pictures . Collect the influence of the two in the quadratic, art film enthusiasts, coupled with the experience of Joy Pictures in the domestic and foreign distribution market, together for theFlavors of Youth escort.

Participate in the introduction and distribution of Miracles of the Namiya General Store, and other Japanese films, Joy Pictures is no stranger to the Japanese film and television industry, has been recognized by many Japanese film and television companies.

With the introduction experience of multilingual films such as La La Land, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Isle of Dogs, Wonder and other multilingual films, Joy Pictures has cooperated with film and television companies in many countries and has a certain reputation in overseas film and television circles, which is also an opportunity to promote the establishment of Japan-China Cultural Industry Exchange Association.



Chinese-Japanese co-production of films is not subject to restrictions on the number of films imported from China and Japan. Chinese-Japanese film and television cooperation has entered a new stage.


The rapidly developing Chinese film market needs Japanese IP and talents. In 2017, there were a number of Chinese films adapted from Japanese IP, such as What a Wonderful Family, The Devotion of Suspect X, Miracles of the Namiya General Store, and so on, while in the field of TV dramas, there was a mixed Chinese version of Late Night Canteen, Operation Love and so on.

Japanese filmmakers such as Takeshi Kobayashi, Shigeru Umebayashi, JouHisaishi and Shunji Iwai are no strangers to Chinese audiences, who have been involved in the production of Chinese films over the years. Not to mention in the field of animation, many of the dramas we see are carried out by Chinese screenwriters and Japanese production teams.

Japan, on the other hand, saw a sharp decline in the number of visitors to the cinema in 1958. In 1958, 1.1 billion people went to the cinema to see movies a year. Now, only 170 million people go to the cinema. Moreover, the Japanese government has set a production limit of 600 films for foreign films, and 600 films in Japan. Under many restrictions, it is difficult for young directors or writers to come forward.

Both Chinese and Japanese film and television companies have a strong willingness to cooperate, but because of objective conditions, they dare not step forward. Looking at this rigid demand, Joy Pictures began to communicate with Japan many times since the second half of last year, committed to building a broader cultural exchange platform between China and Japan.

Adayazhi, vice president of the Japan-China Cultural Industry Exchange Association, Japanese senator

As Mr. Adayazhi said, "the people-to-people exchanges between the film and television industries of China and Japan have been continuing, but only peer-to-peer cooperation, which exists between the two companies, or through some intermediary companies, and lacks a platform for free and equal exchange." Now what we want to do, first of all, is to establish a smooth communication platform for you, and then recruit the mainstream film and television enterprises of the two countries to solve the problems existing in the process of cooperation between the two sides. For example, how to apply for a shooting site in Japan. "

On March 16, 2018, the Japan-China Cultural Industry Exchange Association was established in Tokyo, Japan. Then, on May 9, the Agreement between the Government of the people's Republic of China and the Government of Japan on Cooperative Film production was signed, agreeing that Chinese-Japanese co-production of films could be treated in the same way as domestic films and would not be subject to restrictions on the number of imported films. The cultural exchange of film and television between China and Japan has entered a new stage.

According to the plan of Joy Pictures, as the representative director of the Association, Zhang Jin will then discuss the details of the cooperation with the Japanese side, promote the exhibition of outstanding films in Japan in the form of curatorial and film exhibitions, and promote more cooperation between the two sides in content development and publicity and distribution.

Then,Detective Play 2 will be released in Japan, and the joint association will help Detective Chinatown 3 shoot in Japan and promote local propaganda; promote exchanges between China and Japan in the field of animation. "the important direction of the future content layout of Zhuoran film industry is animation, which is a longer-term plan for the next 3-5 years."


Writer / Xu Lu

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