Hailed as the 'Oriental Studio', both film and cinema have played an important part in Qingdao's history and culture since the early 1900's, with many often referring to the city as the home of Chinese cinema. With a population of 9.2 million, the city's pleasant climate and diverse landscape serves as an important film location and was featured in Zhang Yimou's latest movie, The Great Wall. Focusing predominantly on city's the film and music sectors, the development, which has largely been fuelled by the cultural sector's economic growth, has supported the city's continued success. In 2016, Qingdao's creative industries amounted to US$8,1 billion, with a year-on-year increase of 14.8%.
Qingdao regularly hosts internationally acclaimed film festivals and cultural events. One popular event is the China Film Society of Performing Art Award founded in 1987, also known as the Golden Phoenix Awards. The city is also home to the world's largest film and television industry park; the Oriental Movie Metropolis. It is composed of a production area, an exterior scene area and an experiment area. Qingdao has also concluded an agreement with the Cannes Film Festival to build an international cooperation platform by setting up the Cannes Day.
ÀQingdao has identified film innovation as an important strategic factor for sustainable urban development, in economic, cultural and social terms. A series of policies enabling development within the film and television industry have been conceived, of which the Oriental Movie Metropolis is the largest initiative. This programme aims to build a large-scale industrial area for film and television covering 44 km² and fitted with a world-class film compound. 30 studios have been established in the first phase, including a 10,000 m² single studio and a state-of-the-art underwater studio. As well as building 40 studios to be used for an estimated 100 film and TV productions, the project will also create 100,000 jobs.
As a Creative City of Film, Qingdao envisages:
- facilitating international cooperation with other Creative Cities by sharing good practice and building long-term relationships through film-related collaborations;
- organising the Citizen Micro Film Contest, encouraging citizens to record life under the theme ‘Film goes hand in hand with the city‘;
- initiating the Qingdao Rural Film Festival, which will include sections such as rural art performance and a non-professional acting contest dedicated to farmers;
- elevating the perimeter zones of the Zhongshan Road and Xiaoyushan Hill into an open city culture saloon which will feature creative activities;
- carrying out the China-Africa Young Directors Exchange Program in cooperation with other Creative Cities from Africa;
- organising the Qingdao International Film Carnival; and
- establishing an international platform for sharing educational resources on digital film to explore effective approaches for in-depth integration of film education and ICT, and with a global objective to strengthen the quality education for children in less developed areas.