This article is from WeChat official account:Urban Evolution (ID: urban_evolution), author: Wulin Jing, from the title figure: vision China

“Jia Zhangke suddenly announced his withdrawal from the Pingyao International Film Festival”——If you do not know Jia Zhangke, have never heard of Pingyao, and do not pay attention to the Pingyao International Film Festival, you will not experience the shock of this news.

On October 19, the 9-day Fourth Pingyao International Film Festival ended in Pingyao County, Jinzhong City, Shanxi Province. On the evening of the 18th, Jia Zhangke publicly announced that this year may be the last Pingyao International Film Festival held by his team.

When he explained the reason for leaving, he said: “I think we leave early, cultivate new teams early, and let new teams take over, so that Pingyao International Film Festival can get rid of the shadow of Jia Zhangke and let it gain independent vitality. Urgently needed, so we chose to leave when it is strong.”

spiritual figure

It is far from enough to just use “the founder of Pingyao International Film Festival” to illustrate the relationship between Jia Zhangke and Pingyao International Film Festival.

2017, the first year of Pingyao International Film Festival.

Picture source: Pingyao International Film Festival official website

Fan Bingbing, who was hot at the time, served as an ambassador. The red carpet necessary for the film festival is spread on the stone road in this small countyFan Bingbing walked by in a green dress. With the spotlight chasing the shadow and the camera clicking, on the first day of the opening, the fledgling Pingyao International Film Festival received a lot of attention.

A media friend of Uncle Cheng went to the first film exhibition. In 8 days, she met a group of movie stars and movie stars on the spot, immersed in more than 40 domestic and foreign film screenings, and also witnessed the chaotic and immature management order.

For example, movie exhibition events are sometimes held late at night, but at 12 o’clock in the evening in the ancient city of Pingyao, all the street lights are turned off. The sightseeing shuttle bus in the scenic spot has long been off work, and taxis are not allowed in the ancient city. Ordinary spectators prepare for the shuttle bus. A girl walked back to the back streets and alleys of the hotel, all the way dark, she relied on her mobile phone to illuminate and sing boldly.

The temporary disorder does not extinguish people’s enthusiasm for movies. What’s more, what everyone rushed to was the “Film Festival for Filmmakers” created by Jia Zhangke.

In the past four years, every year Pingyao has entered a cold winter, and the film exhibition has come as scheduled. The number of visitors and media who signed up for the exhibition has grown geometrically. “During the epidemic this year, we registered more than 500 media backstage.” Jia Zhangke said at a press conference on the evening of the 18th.

When it comes to cities hosting film festivals, even if you don’t talk about Cannes, Berlin, or Venice, you will talk about Shanghai and Beijing.

The original intention of the Venice Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival was to extend the tourist season. At the beginning, the organizers were companies from the tourism and hotel industries, but later the focus shifted from tourism to movies.

Shanghai can be one of the earliest film festivals in China because it has gathered the richest film resources in China and has accumulated the most profound film culture in China.

Before 2017, there is really no deeper connection between Pingyao, film capital and the film industry. The difficulty of starting a film festival from 0 to 1 can be imagined.

In 2015, Jia Zhangke approached Mark Muller. The latter has 40 years of curatorial experience in Rotterdam, Venice and other film festivals. He once recommended the films of Chen Kaige, Zhang Yimou and Tian Zhuangzhuang to the International Film Festival. Jia Zhangke and Mark Mueller fully displayed their appeal in the film industry, inviting new art stars, screening participating films, and more importantly looking for money and government support.

Picture source: Pingyao International Film Festival official website

From the very beginning, Jia Zhangke had a long-term plan. From preparation to execution of the film festival project, the team formed by Jia Zhangke himself. He once revealed to “Shanxi Evening News”:

“The people in this team are all I asked for. Many colleagues in the film show come from Guangdong and Beijing. They have experience in organizing large-scale events. But why did they leave Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to work and live in Pingyao? I am indeed They have done a lot of ideological mobilization work, and they now live in Pingyao almost half of the time.”

Regarding the fund operation of the film exhibition, Jia Zhangke also formed a plan with the local government. In the first three years, sponsors were recruited and funded by the Jinzhong Municipal Party Committee and the Pingyao County Party Committee and County Government. Three years later, it is completely dependent on market operation.

“We are guided by the government, sponsored by the company, and established the company for this purpose.” Jia Zhangke and Pingyao County state-owned parties jointly established Pingyao Film Exhibition Co., Ltd. This year is the fourth and the first year that the Pingyao International Film Festival has achieved market-oriented operations. Jia Zhangke said at a press conference on the evening of the 18th, “We did not spend a penny from the government. All are social capital. The brand is built.”

Among many domestic and foreign film festivals (exhibition), the Pingyao International Film Festival is young and has a relatively small reputation. However, the five elements of artistic quality, government support, sponsor cooperation, star platforms, and audience support have all been realized.

During each film exhibition, Jia Zhangke welcomes the main creative team to appear before the film screening. Many post-screening exchange activities are also hosted by him. Some fans ridiculed: “Jia Zhangke is almost everywhere.”< /strong>

Jia Zhangke Picture source: Pingyao International Film Festival official website

“Pingyao International Film Festival is nothing but Jia Zhangke.”

The independent curator of the first Pingyao International Film Festival Duan Shaofeng once said.

“Festival” project

There are media reports that since the fifth edition of the film festival, “the right to hold the festival will be handed over to the Pingyao government.” Many people are worried, how far can the film exhibition after “free from the shadow of Jia Zhangke” go? Will the film exhibition never become the history of Pingyao?

Picture source: Weibo screenshot

At the time the film exhibition landed in Pingyao, Jia Zhangke visited many places. “To make a film exhibition, we must consider many comprehensive factors, such as urban population, the number of universities, whether there is a film industry, whether it is a major film town, etc.” Jia Zhangke said in an interview with the “Shanxi Evening News” that year, “The Jinzhong Municipal Party Committee found me and said Why don’t you consider going back to Shanxi? They introduced me to Shanxi’s transformation process, hoping to let the villagers go back to build their hometown.”

The opening ceremony of the first Pingyao International Film Festival Picture source: Shanxi Daily

The ancient city of Pingyao is “one of the four most intact ancient cities in China” and the “travel business card” of Shanxi. From the perspective of the development situation at that time, on the one hand, Shanxi needs new cultural projects to promote the transformation of the province and bring new ideas in all directions; on the other hand, Shanxi’s previous cultural traditions and history are in urgent need of contemporary Activation and conversion.

During the previous Pingyao International Film Festival, not only the attractions, accommodations and catering, but also the local live performances all took a ride.

In the gap between the movie screenings, you can see the advertisement of “See Pingyao Cultural Park” again. Public information shows that the “See Also Series of Performing Arts Projects” is one of the important tourism development projects in Shanxi Province during the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” period from a major energy province to a major cultural province.

Some people say that bringing in the film exhibition is a good move for Pingyao to promote the development of local tourism. However, the statistics of Uncle Cheng found that there is no obvious change from the data, and the development of tourism in Pingyao has its own established rhythm.

Data source: Pingyao Government Work Report over the years. Compilation and mapping: Urban Evolution Theory

For Pingyao, the greater value of this film exhibition may be: even if you don’t know the history of Pingyao 2,700 years, or the customs, but you have heard the name of the ancient city of Pingyao, paving the way for local cultural brand building .

After checking the information, I found out that Pingyao is the same ancient city that entered the World Cultural Heritage List as Lijiang. As a county where water and coal resources are lacking, the only diesel engine factory, match factory, and knitting factory are also facing transformation.Yao is betting on the future development of tourism.

In recent years, the Pingyao Ancient City Protection Management Committee has successively invested nearly 200 million yuan to harden more than 100 main roads in the ancient city, and some streets have been transformed into the ground and water supply.

In terms of tourism, the ancient city of Pingyao has developed more than 400 tourist vehicles, 375 folk-custom inns and more than 200 tourist shops. Pingyao has 160,000 employees in tourism and related industries, and a considerable part of them are laid-off state-owned enterprise employees.

Today’s Chinese tourism market is no longer relying on pure attractions to attract customers. “Festival creation” is an important magic weapon for the ancient city of Pingyao to break through “one thousand towns”.

In 2017, the first Pingyao International Film Festival officially landed. Picture source: Ding Zhouyang (Photo by Ding Zhouyang)

In 2001, the first Pingyao International Photography Festival kicked off in front of the Yaqinmin Hall in Pingyao County. This is an effort of the local government in Pingyao on cultural brands, and it can also be regarded as a distant precursor to the international film exhibition.

Guo Hengqi, a local director of Pingyao, recalled that the most glorious moment of the Photo Festival was in the third and fourth editions. “The photography exhibitions of those two years made the ancient city of Pingyao’overcrowded’.” However, this event played a leading role in the economy and brand of the ancient city. It doesn’t last long. “For the people of the ancient city, there is not much difference between a photography festival and an exhibition in recent years.”

The biggest reason for the decline of the Photo Festival is that there is always no master’s work, and it is gradually unable to attract masters. “The photos displayed for the exhibition are all taken by college students. No matter which round we got them before, the master’s works could not be hung,” said a local photographer.

After the photography exhibition, Pingyao’s “festival” plan did not stop: 2006 Pingyao China Year, 2017 Pingyao International Film Festival, 2018 Pingyao International Sculpture Festival…According to our understanding, “Photography Exhibition” and “ Chinese Year”It has not been “weaned” so far, and the government has funded it for 19 and 14 years.

Today, the 4th Pingyao International Film Festival, which has just realized market-oriented operation, officially ended. After the end, who will come next year?

This article is from WeChat official account:Urban Evolution (ID: urban_evolution) author: Wulin Jing