“Sword Heroes Fate” to be first the Chinese TV series to air in Italy

28 September 2011 13 h 17 min 6 comments

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The drama “Sword Heroes’ Fate” a hit in its home country, will become the first Chinese television series ever to air on an Italian TV network, project officials said Monday.

The 33-episode series is based on an online video game that allows players to enter a virtual world that a famous hacker and a few others have managed to sneak into. While living in the game’s universe, a mysterious presence prevents them from returning to reality. “Sword Heroes’ Fate,” directed by Wu Yaqiao and Feng Baiyuan and produced by Hubei TV, contains an intriguing mix of special effects with the action taking place inside the video game, traditional camerawork and quick shifts between the two.

The production had its international premiere at the Rome Fiction Fest Monday. And the series will appear on Babel, a new Italian satellite broadcaster, starting in November.

“We have been looking to highlight China for some time, and when we saw ‘Sword Heroes’ Fate,’ we fell in love with the program and we knew this was the one we wanted,” said Beatrice Coletti, Babel‘s channel director. “We saw a few other options that were quite good, but this was our first choice and we are thrilled.”

Babel, which focuses on programs from around the world, is the first non-Chinese broadcaster to buy rights to the series, and the premiere marks the first time a Chinese-made TV series is being broadcast in Italy. Babel is considering local audiences as well. With an estimated 200,000 Chinese people currently living in Italy, the Chinese are the fourth largest foreign group in Italy. The broadcaster, which plans to broadcast the series in its original Chinese language with Italian subtitles, says it hopes to attract Chinese viewers living in Italy along with Italians interested in the story.

According to Yang Yanyan, head of external relations for the Chinese embassy in Rome, the hope is that “Sword Heroes’ Fate” will be the first of many Chinese productions to find a home in Italy and elsewhere in Europe.

“I think that China understands the West more than the West understands China, and I think the best way to remedy this kind of situation is through cultural exchanges like this television series,” she said.

Yang noted that China has become the world’s largest producer of TV programs, creating some 500 TV series a year.

SOURCES: Xinhua (27/09/2011)

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