In the 1990s, the film industry in China decentralized with the bankruptcy of the state-owned studio system. Privatized independent film companies took over where the government had left off and a more independent film culture emerged. Although obstacles such as political censorship, financial pressures, and Hollywood infiltration were still in the way for Chinese filmmakers, privatization of the film industry was under way. As a result of this process, new film productions of controversial subject matter came into being. In 1998 one of China’s first independent film production companies—Dream Factory—was founded. Dream Factory’s first production, in association with Berlin-based German producer Philippe Bober, was the Suzhou River, directed by its founder Lou Ye.1 The 2000 film, though winning prizes at international film festivals such as the Rotterdam Film Festival and the Paris Film Festival, has been banned by the Chinese government since its production.
ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts
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