Beijing, April 28 (IANS) China hopes that the first Sino-India epic film “Xuanzang”, on a 7th century Buddhist monk’s travel to India, will be a hit both at home and in India.
Beijing is also hopeful that film’s success will encourage filmmakers in both countries to join hands to make world-class movies.
“Xuanzang”, set to release on Friday in India and China, has been shot both in both countries.
Directed by Huo Jianqi, the film features Bollywood actor Sonu Sood, who plays King Harsh during whose rule monk Xuanzang, enacted by Huang Xiameng, travelled to India and studied there for 17 years.
“We hope the movie does well. If these two big countries work together, then I believe more qualified movies could be made not only for Asian market but for the world market,” Yan Ni, director at the Asian Affairs Division in China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and TV, told IANS.
The film depicts Xuanzang’s arduous overland journey in India from where he brought the teachings of Buddhism to China.
The movie is an offshoot of a joint production agreement between India and China signed during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2014.
Besides, “Kung Fu Yoga” and “Lost in India”, starring actors from both the countries, are part of the venture.
“Coproduction is based on the willingness of both sides. We hope to invite Indian movie professionals to shoot in China. It will also help Indian viewers understand China better. I am sure that there is lot of natural beauty in China,” Yan told IANS.
In India, the film has been shot at Gaya in Bihar where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. It was also set in Tibet and Xinjiang in China.
People in China, surprisingly youngsters, are already talking about the film.
Jane, a 25-year old college student in Beijing, says she looks forward to watching “Xuanzang”.
“Though it (film) doesn’t have my favourite actor, I will watch it. I have seen its preview. The plot seems great. It has elements from China and India,” Jane told IANS.
“It’s rare to have movie on ancient India and China,” Dan, 25, told IANS.
But Lyn expects something different from Indian actors.
“I have only watched modern Indian films and I am impressed by the dance and songs in them. I hope the Indian actors bring something different to us,” Lyn told IANS.
While Chinese movies like “Shaolin Soccer” and “Kung Fu Hustle” are quite popular in India, Bollywood’s “Three Idiots”, “PK” and “Dhoom 3” have made quite a mark in China.
China is the largest film market outside the US. According to a film consultancy, China-made movies racked up $4 billion in 2015.
(Gaurav Sharma is the Beijing-based correspondent of IANS. He can contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)