How Chinese TV is making its way to Sub-Saharan Africa

Liu Tao and Qiao Xin at an audience meeting of Ode to Joy in Tanzania

As Tencent is making its way to Thailand and iQiyi partners with Malaysia, another group of Chinese media firms have already settled in Africa. Since 2007, Beijing-based media company Star Times  has established itself in over 30 African countries with 26 million users. The company is also working with Chinese and African governments to provide tv access to underserved rural communities in twenty-five African countries.   The company offers two channels featuring Chinese dramas – SinoDrama and Star Times Kung Fu.  Star Times have has also held competitions to bring African acting talents to its Beijing Campus to translate and dub everything from Latin American telenovelas to Thai dramas into English, French, Portuguese, Swahili, Hausa, Zulu, Yoruba and Luganda.

Over the past month, the heads of Daylight Entertainment (Nirvana in Fire, Ode to Joy) and Linmon Entertainment (A Little Separation, Hunting) and the cast of Ode to Joy attended events in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania as a part of the Chinese-African audio-video exchange to discuss further collaboration between Chinese and African media companies.

Their visit follows the filming of the first Chinese drama made in collaboration with the Kenyan government last month, Wang Kai and Wang Ou’s upcoming crime thriller Hunting.

Hunting ‘s Kenyan special. The series is the first drama collaboration with the Kenyan government.
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Daylight Entertainment releases drama posters

Wang Kai plays Emperor Renzong of Song, an emperor known for and is trapped by his good looks benevolence, in Held in the Lonely Castle.

Daylight Entertainment released a new set of posters for three of its upcoming dramas – Wang Kai’s Held in the Lonely Castle 孤城闭 , Guo Jingfei’s If There Is No Tomorrow 我是余欢水 , and Wan Qian and Qin Hao’s We Are Young 我们正年轻 as a part of the Beijing Film Festival. Which one are you looking forward to the most?

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Wang Kai confirmed for historical melodrama Held in the Lonely Castle

With Wang Kai as the emperor, I imagine the crew will be casting a relatively young actress as his daughter Huirou.

Based on Milan Lady’s novel of the same name, upcoming period drama Held in the Lonely Castle 孤城闭 stars Wang Kai as Zhao Zhen, a benevolent emperor who would bring in one of the most prosperous periods of the Song Dynasty with the help of his government.

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Like a Flowing River’s Trailer is Perfect

“Freedom to humans is light to the eyes.” – Like a Flowing River

The trailer for Like a Flowing River 大江大河 only covers like the first two episodes of the TV seriesand I’ve already cried at least three times re-watching it.

The book was already nuanced, but the drama per the trailer seems to have elevated the theme.  Wang Kai, Tong Yao, Yang Shuo, Dong Zijian’s acting are perfect, the music poignant, the sets impeccable, and the lighting is Daylight Entertainment’s best yet. 

The trailer opens with the Song siblings (Wang Kai, Tong Yao) running in the fields as they’re given their first whiff of freedom, only to have the door slammed in their face by cruel remnants of the Cultural Revolution. The trailer doesn’t hide the tragedies, the shut doors to the Song sister , but also opens to so much hope to other characters.  From the re-opening of colleges, to the splitting of public land to private ownership, to the rise of new factories, and to the dream of being able to eat meat everyday that will one day come true, the trailer is a short but poignant reminder of how much potential humanity has when finally given the freedom to use their talents. 

Second trailer and more stills for The Story of Minglan

The Story of Minglan has released an official trailer that gives us more insight into the schemes that concubines engage in in the inner courtyard so that their daughters can secure good marriages. Sheng Minglan (Zhao Liying) has a happy ending with Gu Tingye (Feng Shaofeng), while Qi Heng (Zhu Yilong) is the classic second male lead who doesn’t get the girl. [Extended Synopsis]

Has anyone counted how many times Daylight Ent has used Nirvana in Fire instrumentals as trailer music?

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Wan Qian, Qin Hao, Li Jiahang to lead Daylight Entertainment’s new drama

Young Army Officer 尉官正年轻 is an upcoming military drama produced by Daylight Entertainment (Nirvana in Fire, The Disguiser, Ode to Joy) and stars Wan Qian (Tribes and Empires)Qin Hao (Legend of the Cat Demon) and Li Jiahang (Surgeons) in leading roles. The drama is being marketed as a comical romance between a sophisticated young gentleman and a strong young woman.

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Wang Kai, Yang Shuo, Dong Zijian confirmed for River of Time

Fun fact: All three leads graduated from the Central Academy of Drama, which has a reputation of producing well-known actors who are also good at their craft. 

Like A Flowing River / River Of Time 大江大河 is a drama produced by Daylight Entertainment to celebrate the 40th anniversary of China’s open-door policy, and stars Wang Kai, Yang Shuo and Dong Zijian as representatives of a whole generation of people who took advantage of the economic reforms that were being rolled out.

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