Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale > Supplemento 59 | 2023 > The Fragility of Authorship for Film Directors in Contemporary China

The Fragility of Authorship for Film Directors in Contemporary China

Giorgio Ceccarelli    Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, France; Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



Despite its progressive liberalisation and development, the Chinese film industry is still subject to strict control from the China Film Administration (CFA). Laws and regulations evolved since the 1990s, but they leave large space to interpretation, opening the door to a long process of negotiation that can alter the vision of the directors. In the early 1990s, the Sixth Generation of directors changed the canons of Chinese art-house cinema, adopting a gritty neo-realist style, investigating the darker sides of Chinese society, and working outside the official studio system. Despite recognition in the international festival circuit, which deprived them of national distribution, they decided to return to the fold. The negotiation process with the CFA makes their authorship fragile, and the necessity to continue to be present in the festival circuit risk to put them in a double occupancy position. This article will analyse what are the factors that fragilise the authorship of contemporary Chinese art-house directors and what are the countermeasures adopted by some of them to preserve their authorship.

Dec. 1, 2023
Jan. 23, 2023
Nov. 24, 2022

Keywords: AuthorshipCensorshipFragilityMarginalisationMarketisationNegotiationArt-house cinema

Copyright: © 2023 Giorgio Ceccarelli. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.