Centre for Media and
Communication Research
School of Communication

David C. Lam Institute
for East-West Studies

Venue: Shaw Tower 501, Shaw Campus, Hong Kong Baptist University

Direction: Take Green Minibus No. 29A at the Minibus Terminus near Exit B2 of Kowloon Tong MTR Station. Alternatively, take a taxi from outside Exit B2 of Kowloon Tong MTR Station. The taxi fare is about $25. (see campus map)


This is a conference on new perspectives on Chinese film industry with a focus, though not limited, on the industrial history before 1950s. The conference has two aims: one is to expand the existing scope of industry research and another is to explore new methodological approaches. This conference is premised on a recurring issue in Chinese early film historiography--Hollywood domination and the counter-hegemonic response from local industry--and asks how this relationship played out in the regional markets. As the birthplace of cinema in China, Shanghai (the so-called Hollywood of the East) was the centre where most historical documents have been collected, studied and written about. The concentration on Shanghai is inevitable, but as the field grows there is a need to look beyond Shanghai in order to come to a comprehensive, in- depth knowledge of the film industry as a whole, before it was nationalized under the People’s Republic of China in 1950. In addressing this question, the conference aims to develop new research directions and findings to revisit and revise standard views on early Chinese film industry. Experts from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Singapore will be invited to present their new research findings and new development in methodological approach at the conference.

Conference topics include: 1) new directions and research topics; 2) research methods; 3) analytical methodology; 4) case studies: distribution companies and their circuits, movie theatres, studio history, production modes; 5) reception and audience studies. It is hoped that the conference will provide a deeper understanding of the regional industry practices (production, distribution, marketing, exhibition) and film reception (film reviews) that are currently missing in the standard literature. To what extent does the shape of early film industry reflect the priorities of Hollywood? What kind of response did this generate from the local establishments?

With respect to geographical scope, this conference will invite specialists to present their research beyond Shanghai, tracing the centrifugal connections from the capital to the regional cities of China. We plan to publish the conference proceedings for a better dissemination of the outcomes.

Supporting Organizations:

Shanghai University

Department of History
Fudan University

Hong Kong Film Archive