Shanghai is to have its own film museum in June 2013. More specifically, the Shanghai Film Museum will officially open to the public during the 16th Shanghai International Film Festival on June 16, 2013.
“Shanghai, the cradle of Chinese cinema, has made great contributions to the domestic film industry,” said Ren Zhonglun, president of the Shanghai Film Group Corporation. “It has been a dream of several generations of local filmmakers to build a film museum in the city.”
The museum is located on the original site of the Shanghai Film Group Corporation in the Xujiahui area, originally the site of the famed Lianhua Motion Picture Company (United Photoplay Service Co.) prior to 1949. Its exhibition areas cover 10,000 square meters and four floors. So far the museum has received more than 700 donated items from the public. Shanghai Film Group Corporation will also provide its collection for display, including 300,000 items related to Chinese cinema and world film history.
The following is an excerpt from the “General Introduction” to the museum:
“More than a century ago, across oceans and continents, cinema was brought to Shanghai immediately after its birth. With its advanced industries and modern finance, along with its sophisticated and colorful urban life that featured both East and West, both the traditional and the modern, Shanghai provided cinema the most suitable and rich soil for its growth. Cinema picked Shanghai for its China landing, and Shanghai cultivated the growth of cinema in China. By the early 1930s, Shanghai had accommodated more than 90% of the film industry in China, becoming the largest film center in the Far East and Asia.
“By that time cinema had transformed from a Western vaudeville act that entertained the audience in teahouses and wine shops to a popular art form that was able to convey people’s everyday emotions and to address real issues in society. It opened a window for China to take a new look at the changed world. Added with light and sound, moving images on the screen mesmerized the audience with sad or happy stories, inscribing the light of modern consciousness onto the minds of the Chinese people. This particular moment also symbolized the maturity of Chinese cinema. Forged by the times and history, cinema had been gradually transformed in China from a light entertaining medium to a cultural power that could bring progressive changes in society…
“Time flies like an arrow, but the world still needs cinema. The wheel of time could easily age a person, but after more than a century, cinema still remains young.”