When top officials from the China Film Group Corporation (CFGC) saw the rushes of PK last year, they instantly decided to screen it in China. It wasn’t a tough call: the movie had Aamir Khan, known here for 3 Idiots which had struck a chord among the Chinese middle class, it did not have the regular singing and dancing and the theme was unusual.
“PK was still on the editing table. But they were very keen. They found the story unusual. Subsequently, the CFGC invited us,” director Rajkumar Hirani said.
CFGC is the largest state-run film enterprise in China.
Hirani was in Beijing as part of the delegation to formalise the Sino-India Mutual Film Importation Agreement, under which PK will be brought to China in couple of months and screened at more than 3,500 theatres.
Aamir Khan is likely to come for the first screening of the film.
Hirani was in Beijing last year as one of the seven judges at the fourth Beijing International Film Festival where an Indo-Canadian film project, Siddharth, had won the best film award.
China’s martial art epic, The Grandmaster, directed by acclaimed Wong Kar-wai.
“I saw interesting and modern Chinese movies, not only period dramas. Indian movies with contemporary themes should do well here. I also liked the The Grandmaster (martial art epic directed by the acclaimed Wong Kar-wai),” Hirani said, adding that he feels that the Chinese market could be tapped by Indian films.
The Chinese movie market is now the second largest after the US and is a big draw for Hollywood blockbusters; the one block being the quota of only 34 foreign films that are allowed here every year.
So, for Hindi movies, it will not be easy to break into blockbuster Hollywood territory. But with the new agreement, the CFGC could directly import the film, giving access to Indian movies.
Hirani said he would be keen to do a joint-production movie with a Chinese counterpart.
“Seriously thinking of a co-production... (with) a content driven story,” Hirani said during his interaction with Indian journalists in Beijing.