Official Chinese film awards and film festivals: History, configuration and transnational legitimation

Seio Nakajima*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Film awards and film festivals are one of important mechanisms that structure film markets, with awards activities as well as industry-related events. This paper examines government-approved, ‘official’ Chinese film awards such as the Huabiao Awards, the Hundred Flowers Awards and the Golden Rooster Awards, as well as film festivals including Changchun Film Festival, Shanghai International Film Festival and Beijing International Film Festival. I tackle three research questions: (1) How and when did the awards and the festivals come into existence? (2) What is the configuration of different types of awards and festivals? (3) What are different criteria of legitimation of the awards and the festivals? Contrary to the widely shared image of official Chinese film awards and festivals as closed sites of domestic political correctness, I show the dynamism and multiplicity of logics within them. In addition, I situate the awards and festivals in the ongoing context of transnationalisation of Chinese cinema. Analytically, I argue for the utility of ‘field theory’ in sociology to understand the structure and dynamics of official Chinese film awards and film festivals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-243
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Chinese Cinemas
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sept 2


  • China;
  • field theory;
  • film awards;
  • film festivals;
  • film industry;
  • film markets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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