18 Apr 031: Controversial Filmmaker Attracts Awards & Death Threats
Filmmaker Chris D. Nebe balances propaganda and journalism in his controversial documentaries.
Controversial filmmaker Chris D. Nebe’s documentaries have won awards and attracted death threats. His pro-China views on geopolitics has won him fans and enemies. Furthermore he talks about the power of the Chinese internet, the challenge of making documentaries in China and making films that crossover to both Hollywood and China.
PROPAGANDA OR JOURNALISM?
Chris’s pro-China projects covering The Diaoyu Islands and Tibet are controversial to the extreme. To avoid the label of Chinese propaganda – he raises money for his projects outside China. Therefore you should consider non-Chinese financing if you plan to make projects with controversies subjects.
As Chris said – the Chinese studios are looking for something more ‘commercial’.
Romance is is a safe genre bet.. Chris’s period film – The Barefoot Doctor – has a romantic subplot. Certainly this is a safe bet since romantic subplots will attract a wider audience.
These are hard to find but “David versus Goliath” stories resonate with a worldwide audience. You can also see my previous blogs How to Make a Chinese Hit or 7 Ways To Bulletproof Your Script For China. Just go to The China-Hollywood Greenlight website and click on blogs. I’ll also put links to these blogs in the show notes.
THE POWER OF THE CHINESE INTERNET
Chris mentioned an interview he did with a smart phone that got over 600 million views in China. China has over 989 million web users. One smart move would be to get publicity for your projects on the Chinese internet. I wrote about top Chinese internet companies in my blog How to Sell Your Web Series to China. At the bottom of the blog post is a link to China’s top internet companies as well as China’s top web series. That page also has additional links to each web series director, producer, and stars that you can track down for a possible collaboration.
PEACE AND HARMONY
Chris mentioned the need peace and harmony with China. He mentioned the global village and how neighbors shouldn’t cause trouble with their neighbors. If there’s a reason for trouble, it should be dealt with in peace and harmony. However, before any of you send me comments about China’s problems with dealing with its nearest neighbor – Hong Kong, the national security law, or China’s supposed ‘debt-trap diplomacy’ with developing countries – let me say this. My podcast is about fostering collaboration in the entertainment business.
I invite guests from all over with different points of view. Guests are welcome to share their views and advice on how China and Hollywood can work together in a mutually beneficial way. I’m open to hearing from a variety of guests. If you would like to suggest someone, please leave a note in the comment.
THE CHINA LIST
Screenwriters, producers, directors, creative execs and talent agents – check out The China List. This is a new membership website to connect writers and producers in Hollywood and China. Just go to www.chnlist.com
Additionally, writers – if you join the membership – you can have free access to our Writing Jobs page until April 30, 2021. Producers, directors, creative execs and talent reps – you can post you tailored request for specific scripts or writers on our private writing jobs page. It’s free.
Well that’s the show. Thank you for listening. Lastly,to show your support – go to iTunes, subscribe and leave a rating so other people can find this podcast.
And I’ll see you at the première.
China Hollywood Greenlight Podcast – Episode 31
Host: Caryn McCann
Blogs mentioned in the show:
GUEST: Chris Nebe, Producer, Director, Writer, Monarex Hollywood
Company website: Monarex Hollywood: