A taste of home: Emotional transnationalism and China Lion Film Distribution in the United States | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 29, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1059-440X
  • E-ISSN: 2049-6710



Between 2010 and 2015, China Lion Film Distribution released 55 Chinese-language films in North America on the same day as the films were released in the People’s Republic of China. In 2014, China Lion hit its stride, with a string of seven films that each grossed more than US$100,000 in limited release in North America. By marketing Chinese-language films in the United States to Chinese transmigrant communities rather than to mainstream US audiences, China Lion takes advantage of the emotional transnationalism of Chinese Americans, bringing them a recognizable taste of ‘Home’ in their new place of residence. This article looks at the ways in which China Lion’s recent releases in US multiplexes differ from past attempts to bring Chinese and Hong Kong cinema to North America. China Lion’s success reflects China’s rapidly expanding film industry and the growing relationship between China, Hollywood and the global film market at large, and also reflects the changing demographics of the twenty-first-century Chinese American community.


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