A dozen supportive policies, including rent and training subsidies and fiscal support, have been issued by Songjiang authorities to assist the district’s more than 7,000 film industry companies in tiding over the dark period caused by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia.
Cinemas and cultural facilities that used to depend on brick-and-mortar sales and peak season consumption have suffered due to the outbreak. As have small- and medium-scale film companies in the district that are suffering cashflow problems: their film projects have been suspended and their daily expenditure keeps increasing.
The 12 new policies are aimed at reducing financial burden of various film companies while encouraging innovation and changes within the film industry.
The Pacific Cineplex Songjiang Branch recently received an allocation of 340,000 yuan (US$48,058.6) from the suburban district government.
“The grant solved our most urgent problem,” said Ma Dandan, chief of the cinema. “Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, our box office and advertisement income is almost zero, but our daily expenditures keep on adding.”
According to the new policies, eligible medium- and large-scale cinemas in the district that have been greatly affected by the outbreak can enjoy a maximum of three-month subsidy of up to 400,000 yuan.
In addition, a special fund was allocated for film companies in need in mid-February, according to the district’s culture and tourism bureau and the financial bureau.
Film companies can also enjoy loan guarantee, fee subsidies and staff training subsidies.
GCOO Entertainment, a Songjiang-based film company, has tried out recruiting actors and actresses online.
“Though it’s a makeshift measure, online recruiting is very efficient. We are considering using click-and-mortar recruiting after the outbreak ends,” said Zhang Jun, assistant manager of GCOO Entertainment.
The authorities are encouraging such innovation by releasing the new policies.
“We encourage film companies to adopt new technologies, including Big Data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and fifth-generation connection, during and after the COVID-19 outbreak and build new industrial forms like digital animation and film and television intelligent cloud,” said an officer with the Songjiang Culture and Tourism Bureau.