Four major Chinese movies will shoot in Dubai in the coming months, China Central Television host Mimi Li revealed at the official launch of the inaugural Dubai Chinese Film Week on Monday night.
The city has already played host to major Hollywood productions such as Star Trek Beyond and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,Bollywood favourites such as Happy New Year and major local productions including City of Life. Now it seems the Chinese industry, with the world’s second-largest box office – having briefly overtaken the US to become the biggest earlier this year – is next in line.
So what movies will shoot here?
The films will represent a mix of genres, including Pacman, a comedy drama about a man who agrees to take the blame for everything in life to help his family, co-produced by state-owned Chinese giant China Media, which also owns CCTV. That film will shoot next summer and release in summer 2020. Love in Dubai will follow the life of a young Chinese entrepreneur setting up shop in Dubai, and promises to showcase the culture and history of Dubai. Multiple, a tale of a young woman with multiple personalities who cures herself through music, will shoot in November 2019, and also filming in the UAE will be Axe Man, an action comedy set within the unlikely confines of an HR department.
China Media and production company Daddy Film have a hand in all the productions, which promise to bring some of the biggest directorial and acting talents in Chinese cinema to the UAE. “The films we have announced will all be shot in Dubai in the near future and will be supported by Hala China [an initiative of Dubai’s Meraas, in collaboration with Dubai Holding, to enhance economic and cultural exchange and drive investment co-operation between Dubai and China]. We believe Dubai will become the first choice of Chinese film production companies,” Li said.
Hu Bing and Miao Miao as UAE cultural ambassadors
Li was also acting as the red-carpet host at the event, welcoming Chinese stars such as Miao Miao of coming-of-age film Youth and New Horizon star Hu Bing to the carpet at City Walk’s Roxy Cinemas.
Bing revealed that this was his third time in Dubai, but said through an interpreter that it was also the first time he’d left his hotel, having been so enamoured by the high-tech room facilities on previous trips.
Bing and Miao Miao both received honorary awards as cultural ambassadors between the UAE and China, an honour that was reciprocated when Li Lingbing, Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai, bestowed a similar award on members of both Meraas and the Dubai Film and TV Commission, before Chinese pop star and Chinese Idol winner Li Xiangxiang took to the stage to perform two songs on an unusually humid October night.
Chinese Film Week will continue until Friday, October 5, at Roxy Cinemas in City Walk, Box Park and The Beach. Films showing on rotation at all three cinemas are You Are in My Heart, Youth, Dragon Blade, To the Fore, Big Fish & Begonia, The Nightingale, American Dreams, Wolf Totem, Monkey King: Hero is Back and Miss Granny.