An executive and director who worked with Hubei Film Studios in Wuhan, China, has died after contracting coronavirus, along with three other members of his immediate family. Chang Kai, 55, succumbed to pneumonia caused by the coronavirus on February 14, Hubei said on social media. His father and mother reportedly died in the preceding days, while his sister also died on February 14.
According to reports, Chang’s father was the first to fall ill but was unable to be treated in a hospital due to a lack of space. Chang’s wife also has the disease, while a son remains in London.
Chang has been referred to in the media as a film director, though he had no known major credits. Hubei — located in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak — described him as the director of the Xiangyinxiang external liaison office, which was established by the Central Committee’s Propaganda Department to promote Chinese culture.
The coronavirus now has claimed at least 1,770 lives in mainland China.
Although some studio work has slowly resumed, the epidemic is impacting several facets of China’s entertainment industry including box office as movie theaters remain shuttered across the nation and with no discernible date to come back online.
Impact also is being felt in the region with a drag on overall box office, while organizers of Hong Kong Filmart stepped off the market’s March dates, opting to postpone. Elsewhere, the Berlin Film Festival is taking precautions but has seen several cancellations from Chinese delegates for the EFM.
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