Headed by the China Film Archive, the National Arthouse Film Alliance and its first circuit of cinemas showing art-house films, was launched in November. The long-awaited move has already helped some independent films get more exposure.
The Tibetan-language film "Tharlo" was released on December 9th. Although nominated for the Horizons Award at the Venice film festival and received well by overseas audiences, the independent film got very few screenings during the year-end film season filled with commercial blockbusters.
With the director worried about its box office sales, the National Arthouse Film Alliance invited the film to a Tibetan-themed film exhibition. The alliance also helped bring the film to more theaters.
"We organized several meet-and-greet events in different cities so that this film could reach more audiences. And this is just the beginning. We'll find more ways to help these films in the future," said Lin Siwei, representative.
The Beijing-based China Film Archive is leading the alliance, which includes Huaxia Film Distribution, Wanda Cinema Line, Bill Kong’s Broadway Circuit, Jia Zhangke’s Fabula Entertainment and ticketing platform Weying Technology.
The alliance has already chosen 100 cinemas in 31 major cities across the country to be part of a network that shows specialized titles from both China and overseas regularly. The cinemas guarantee they will screen an art-house film at least three times per day and 10 times per week at peak times.
Organizers plan to grow the alliance into over 400 cinemas reaching 3,000 screens.