Flora Lichaa, post-doctorante à l’Université libre de Bruxelles
Flora Lichaa, jeune docteure soutenue du CECMC, a obtenu une bourse individuelle postdoctorale Marie Skłodowska-Curie d’une durée de 24 mois. Elle sera affiliée au laboratoire EASt de l’Université libre de Bruxelles pendant la durée de la bourse.
Titre du projet : How entrepreneurship is shaping new modes of film production in China.
My PhD research focused on the relations between art and politics in Chinese cinema throughout the twentieth century, concentrating particularly on independent film production and distribution outside the tightly controlled Chinese market. During my researches, I also observed the emergence of a new phenomenon, in particular during fieldwork carried out in 2018 to prepare my postdoctoral research project: a dozen small film companies set up by Chinese entrepreneurs started producing low-budget art-house films, and they manage to distribute these products in the Chinese market. This phenomenon is unique in two ways: (1) until now it has been very difficult to finance arthouse films because of their low profitability and the lack of State subsidies dedicated to art-house films; (2) These films could not be shown in film theaters or streaming platforms in China, because of their low profitability and because their political content is not in line with the ideological values promoted by the Chinese Communist Party. The lack of funding and distribution spaces dedicated to art-house films means that until now, low-budget films which reflected a personal artistic approach, have been produced and shown outside state-controlled channels. For this reason, they were qualified as independent films. It is thus very surprising that the dozen or so film production companies that have been set up since the 2010s which specialize in art-house cinema have found a place in the national film industry alongside film conglomerates that only offer commercial super-productions. This phenomenon indicates that the Chinese market now includes entrepreneurs whose work can neither be seen as a bid for high financial returns under the rules of censorship, nor as creations free of all commercial and ideological considerations. Rather, they mark ‘a middle way’, and as such one can hypothesize that these new entrepreneurs are changing the relations between art, market and politics in the Chinese context. My project, “How Entrepreneurship is Shaping new modes of film production in China” (HESCHI), seeks to understand the nature of these relations by examining the origins and mechanisms of the modes of production observed in previous exploratory fieldwork. The project will rely on empirical data collected in the field, analyzed using multidisciplinary method drawn from sociology, economy of culture, and theories of globalization.