Gen Z’s Favorite Video Sharing Site Bilibili Expands into Film Industry

Chinese video sharing site Bilibili teamed up with Dirty Monkey Films to launch the “Bilibili x Dirty Monkey Films Young Director Support Program” on November 27.

The goal is identifying and supporting emerging filmmakers. Bilibili will participate in all the future film productions under Dirty Monkeys’ “72 Transformations Film Project” (“72变电影计划”) by collaborating with young Chinese directors to produce 30 short films each year for exclusive distribution on its video platform. Top-performing short films from the program will be then adapted into other formats, including feature films, animations, and games.

Gen Z’s favorite space online, Bilibili is expanding its content, which ranges from kuso-style videos – as camp and parody content is sometimes referred to in East Asia – to documentaries and films. The platform is now active in all facets of the filmmaking process, including investment, copyright licensing, innovations in the viewing experience, and partnership programs with upcoming filmmaking talents. 

“As the ultimate cultural product with a high production threshold, film is an integral element in Bilibili’s vision for its content ecosystem. After exploring animations and documentaries, Bilibili hopes that original filmmaking will take root and thrive in our youth-oriented cultural consumption ecosystem,” said BiliBili COO Li Ni.

BiliBili COO Li Ni (Source: Bilibili)

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With the support from internationally-acclaimed director Ning Hao – who is also the founder of the “72 Transformations Film Project” – the cooperation has already created award-winning hits. Among others, box-office sensation Dying to Survive – hailed as the Chinese version of Dallas Buyers Club –, science-fiction comedy Crazy Alien, and Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield, a martial arts action film.

“China’s film industry has entered into a new era characterized by renewed dynamics among directors of different generations,” Ning said. “An old saying goes, ‘Filmmakers are forever young.’ I hope that together with Bilibili, we can unite all forces to drive innovation in filmmaking.”

Featuring a scrolling commenting system or “Bullet Chat,” Bilibili provides the audience with a unique live interaction experience while watching videos. This emerging cultural form has become popular on many Chinese online video streaming platforms.