A sub-category in film genre by format, shorts were never unheard-of in Mainland China. However, it was not until late 2010 that they suddenly gained millions of Chinese fans. The watershed film is Old Boys, a 42-minute short about unfulfilled dreams and aspirations as people grow old in life. It was produced by China Film Group with Chevrolet as a general production partner and subsequently distributed on the Chinese video-streaming site Youku.
Since Old Boys proved to be an Internet sleeper hit, it has inspired a wave of micro-length and micro-budget productions, and general practices of funding, making, and distributing shorts have emerged to accommodate their growing numbers and popularity.
On the financing side, media companies big and small are investing in-house short film productions. The Chinese Internet company NetEase has not only been holding a short film festival named the “NetEase Micro-Film Festival” but has also been funding about 30 short film productions a year since 2011. Zhang Zhao’s LeTV, a fast growing video portal, has a RMB20 million ($3.16 million) fund for short films.
Read More at Asian Correspondent