In the evening of December 10, 2014, the Chinese Film Showcase Launch Ceremony co-organized by the Chinese Embassy, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation of South Africa (Dirco) and South Africa-China People’s Friendship Association was held at the NuMetro Cinema in Pretoria. Coincided with the successful conclusions of the 10th Senior Officials Meeting of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation(FOCAC), Ambassador Tian Xuejun and his wife Counsellor Qiao Jie, Ambassador Lin Songtian, Secretary General of FOCAC Chinese Follow-Up Committee and Director General of the Department of African Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Jerry M. Matjila, Director General of Dirco, Chinese and African delegates for FOCAC SOM meeting and other South African friends enjoyed the Chinese movie titled Partners.
Ambassador Tian Xuejun extended his warm congratulations to the success of FOCAC SOM meeting. He emphasized that China-Africa relations in recent years, featured by frequent high-level exchanges, more extensive and profound cooperation in various fields, and strengthened consultation and mutual support in regional and international affairs, had set a successful example of relationship between developing countries oriented towards the 21st century. A few days ago, President Zuma visited China and had in-depth and productive exchanges with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other Chinese leaders, agreements in various fields were signed, adding great splendor to the development of China-Africa relationship in the new era. Ambassador Tian remarked that as a prelude to the China Year in South Africa in 2015, the Chinese Film Showcase was initiated to help local friends have a better sense and understanding of China. Quoting the film title Partners, he applauded China and African countries as good friends, good partners and good brothers facing the same development tasks, “As long as we join hands, we will successfully promote the collective rise of developing countries and make contribution to a future world of lasting peace and common prosperity”, he said.
Ambassador Matjila also spoke highly of the 10th FOCAC SOM meeting, which he claimed laid a solid foundation to the ministerial meeting next year. He expressed his appreciation to China for its leading role in FOCAC mechanism building, the achievements it made, and its long support to development of African countries. He pointed out a series of great and cheerful events happened recently in China-South Africa relations. “President Zuma’s successful state visit to China has brought a successful conclusion to the Year of South Africa in China, we thank China for providing such a platform to showcase South Africa to the Chinese people. South Africa hopes to lift our relations to a higher level through the China Year in South Africa next year”, he said. He also mentioned the symbolic meanings the film Partners embodied, as FOCAC underlines the spirit of co-operation, unity and solidarity. “As long as China and Africa put together, we could get through all the challenges to succeed”, he said.
Many audiences praised the high quality of the film and commended the story as very inspiring and showcased how the Chinese people have been chasing their dreams with solidarity and hard work.
The film “Partners” is based on a true story happened in China. The story is set in the 1980s. Three young men met at a prestigious university in Beijing, where they began their 30 years of friendship and pursuit of their dreams. They make great strides toward success and their friendship was strengthened through ups and downs. More films from China including The Confucius, The Grand Masters, So Young will be screened in Pretoria and Johannesburg in the following months. A series of workshops and seminars on the development of Chinese films and marketing in South Africa will also be held accordingly.
The Chinese film industry has achieved a lot after more than 100 years' development. China has become the third largest film-producing country with the second largest box office sales in the world. 824 films were produced in 2013 alone, with ticket sales of more than $3.5 billion. There have been more than 20,000 screens in China, and this number is still increasing with a rate of 18 screens every day. Films have been a kaleidoscope of China’s society, culture, history and wisdom. It is our hope that the Chinese Films Showcase can keep South African and African viewers updated on China’s development, and add splendor to the upcoming Year of China in South Africa.