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Adaptation of Chinese film releases in Thailand, sign of increasing cooperation

作者:admin 2020-10-15

Adaptation of Chinese film releases in Thailand, sign of increasing cooperation

Photo: Sina Weibo

Thailand comedy My God Father อย่าเรียกพี่ว่าพ่อ, which can be translated as "My God Father, don't call me dad", adapted from the Chinese film Duckweed, released in Thailand on Tuesday, which Chinese film industry experts are calling a good move for Chinese film.

Although some Chinese TV dramas and variety shows have gained international attention and had their rights purchased by foreign entertainment companies, this is a rare example of the IP of a Chinese mainland film being exported overseas.

Chinese film Duckweed tells the story about a reconciliation between a father and his son. Ah Lang, a young man has some misunderstandings with his father Ah Zheng, but due to a fateful occurrence, he is able to experience his father's legendary and interesting life for himself.

My God Father อย่าเรียกพี่ว่าพ่อ, co-produced by Chinese studio Mango Entertainment and Thailand's Transformation Films Entertainment, stars popular Thai stars Sammy Cowell, Chantavit Dhanasevi and the lead star of hit drama Love Destiny Thanavat Vatthanaputi, according to reports.

Before the release of the film, it gained a lot of traction on Twitter as many Thai netizens expressed their high anticipation for the film.

Liu Ning, a director under Mango Entertainment, said during an interview with Chinese film blogger Yingyidushe that he sees this cooperation as a preliminary attempt to integrate Chinese and Thai culture since this is the first time the studio has participated in an overseas remake of a domestic film as an investor.

Due to the cultural barrier when it comes to comedy, the comedic elements in the original film needed to be localized. In addition, more specific work including art, photography, post-production and casting were also handed over to the Thai production team. 

"I think the premise of cooperation is mutual trust," Liu said.

According to the blogger, the outbreak of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced the Thailand's film and television industry to shut down, and it wasn't until July that Thai theaters began to resume work. This has given the release of My God Father อย่าเรียกพี่ว่าพ่อ the added significance of boosting the Thai film market. 

Duckweed was released during the Chinese New Year holiday in 2017 and took in a total box office of 1.05 billion yuan ($156 million), which adds to the confidence that the Thai version will perform well. 

Shi Wenxue, a film critic and a teacher at the Beijing Film Academy, told the Global Times that the reason why more Chinese film and television dramas are being exported overseas is because they are telling real Chinese story even though the storytelling is more international. 

He pointed to the example of the Chinese crime drama Day and Night, whose global rights were purchased by Netflix and will now be broadcast in more than 190 countries and regions.

Xiao Fuqiu, a film critic based in East China's Shanghai Municipality, told the Global Times that the adaption of Duckweed is new attempt at an adaptation and that it breaks the stereotype that Chinese films only focus on kung fu, clothing and history.

He pointed out that figuring out how to tell a Chinese story in a way that the whole world can understand and appreciate is the biggest challenge and difficulty that filmmakers face.

"The biggest challenge facing the overseas export of Chinese film and television dramas is still 'cultural identity,' which is directly related to the translation and promotion of cultural identity," Shi echoed.

Posted in: FILM

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