The global film industry has experienced a paradigm shift from International cinema to transnational cinema. Transnational forces are allowing the global film industry to expand; go beyond the boundaries. Since the 1930s, Hollywood has dominated the film industry with 80% of films being screened around the world. In today’s society films are being distributed and produced from all corners of the globe. Schaefer and Karan predict that Asian film industries will dominate the global film flows from the Western world. Hybridity is allowing Asian film Industries to mix and create new transcultural forms. As hybridised content spreads, ‘glocalisation’ enables local communities to form economic and cultural relationships with the global system. For Asian film industries to succeed, both terms reveal mixing both global and local elements are essential in appealing to audiences and wider markets.
Global film flows are blurring “…the boundaries between the modern and the traditional, the high and low culture, and the national and the global culture” (Schaefer and Karan, 2010 p. 309). China and India have strong economic, political and cultural interests that pose a challenge to the west.
Li Huiqun (2010)believes that Globalization will bring more opportunities to the Chinese film industry as well as more challenges. Due to Chinese culture, originating from Confucian, it does not encourage innovation and creativity. Therefore to protect the local market, the Chinese government has imposed a strict quota system on importing foreign films into China.
However, the Asian film industry has overcome the constraints; successfully attracting Non-Asian international audiences with unique cultural content. Hollywood is embracing martial arts and Wuxia sequences featuring talented actors such as Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. Combining traditional cultural elements and hybridity enables American film producers to be inspired by Chinese legends. For example Mulan (Disney, 1998) and Kung Fu Panda (Disney, 2008). The ‘Mulan’ video trailer below clearly shows Wuxia narrative and Chinese folktale.
By far Indian films have “the best chance of challenging Hollywood’s hegemony in the movie making world” (Schaefer and Karan, 2010 p.310). Over the last decade other film industries such as Bollywood and Nollywood are challenging Hollywood’s hegemony. Cultural Hybridity is an important factor that contributes to the Bollywood industry being successful. The below video emphasises Bollywood’s as an upcoming powerful player in the global film industry. Bollywood’s annual film turnover is a staggering $4 billion and collaborations with western film industry results in cinema hits.
The Transcultural film industry enables diverse and rich hybrid films to be produced. With the increasing technological advancements showing no sign of slowing down, the internet, cable television, satellite networks and DVD distribution will allow the global film industry to flourish. Watch out Hollywood!
Huiqun, L. 2010, “Opportunities and challenges of globalization for the Chinese film industry”, Global
Media and Communication, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 323-328
Karan, K and Schaefer, DJ 2010, ‘Problematizing Chindia: Hybridity and Bollywoodization of popular Indian cinema in global film flows’ Global Media and Communication, Vol. 6, No. 3