Top 10 Best Acting Schools in China | 2023

This article will give brief details on these film and theater colleges and universities if you’re interested in learning more about the most outstanding acting schools in China or applying to any of them as a local or international student.

Before applying to any school, it’s critical to do your homework and gather knowledge about the institution to make an informed decision and improve your chances of being accepted.

So that students from over the world who are interested in going to one of these schools will have the information they need before their application, Academicrelated has researched and compiled some of the best acting schools in China.

Additionally, readers just reading this post for entertainment or to learn more about these colleges will learn what they need to know.

This article, which includes a list of esteemed acting programs from China and an official link to each program’s official website, should prove beneficial.

Additionally, you will learn why going to acting school is necessary, how to become an actress, and whether you need to attend acting school.

Continue reading as you are about to discover more. 

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Are There Acting Schools In China?

There are a few acting schools in China. These acting schools are:

  • The Beijing Film Academy
  • The Central Academy of Drama
  • Shanghai Theater Academy
  • Communication University of China
  • The National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts
  • Nanjing University of the Arts, Nanjing
  • Meishi Film Academy of Chongqing University
  • Zhejiang University of Media and Communications
  • Nanjing National Theater Academy
  • Beijing Normal University

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How Does One Become An Actor In China?

Have you decided to start your acting career in China?

Although challenging, it is possible to accomplish.

However, if you’re wondering how to break into the Chinese acting industry, you’ll need to work hard and have the necessary skills.

It’s a fact that breaking into the acting business is challenging, and it happens worldwide.

Most of the time, the filmmakers outsource the performers through specific channels.

Finding that channel is when the challenging part begins.

1. Get into the proper location

The phrase “right location” simply refers to a place where you can locate the job that’s right for you. If you want to land a job in a “relatively” shorter amount of time, think about traveling to Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong.

2. Mingle with the locals

Most locals will assume you are a foreigner visiting their nation to travel or conduct business; they won’t know you are looking for work as an actor. As a result, it’s crucial to interact with the locals and ask them if they know where you might realize your ambition.

3. Going to the agency

The following response to the issue of becoming a Chinese actor is to go to an agency. Going to an agency is also not a wrong choice. However, before joining the company, you will typically have an audition. Make sure you are aware of that chance because it takes a certain amount of time.

4. Get a sponsor

Undoubtedly tricky, but with a sponsor, it will be more straightforward. Typically, the sponsor is a person with a connection to the producing firm. Who can say whether a sponsor will help you land a gig quickly? Because of this, it’s crucial to interact with as many locals as possible, but make sure you do so for more than one reason.

5. Apply for an audition

If you ever come across any advertisements for auditions, don’t pass them up! Prepare yourself and arrive at the location with assurance. However, it’s crucial to prepare yourself adequately before that. Don’t just rely on your confidence; develop your acting abilities. There is a lot more to acting than that.

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How Long Does It Take To Study Acting In China?

Chinese acting degrees can be earned in around three years of study. However, some institutions need up to four years of study before conferring an acting degree.

The three-year Bachelor of Arts in Acting program’s intensive instruction enables students to advance their acting, singing, voice, movement, and performance skills.

Through this curriculum, students also gain a theoretical and critical grasp of their work and an understanding of the historical and current context. 

With the help of the institute’s training, the student can use these skills across various media, including digital, radio, television, cinema, and theater.

Also, the program is designed for aspiring actors who are creative, original, and sincere in their goal to develop and maintain a long-lasting career in the performing arts.

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How Much Does Acting Schools in China Cost?

Depending on your nationality, where you live, and the type of study you are enrolled in, the components of tuition costs fluctuate.

The remaining tuition fees may be paid in whole or three equal installments at certain times during the academic year. 

All applicants must pay their tuition before starting their course. The deadlines for tuition fee payments are stated in the offer letters delivered to applicants.

Therefore, the average tuition fee for acting schools in China is 36000 RMB

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What Are The Top 10 Best Acting Schools in China?

Here, you will see some of the top acting and theater institutions in China. To find out more details about a school, like the tuition cost, programs offered, application procedures, and other details, all you have to do is go to the official website of that institution.

1. Beijing Film Academy

This is the nation’s only institution dedicated to higher education in the cinematic industry and the birthplace of China’s film talents.

Also, it is a coed, government-run institution of higher learning in Beijing, China. The largest institution in Asia specializing in tertiary education for film and television production is the film school. The Academy has received praise from all over the world for its work in filmmaking.

It has a stellar reputation in the world of cinema and fine art. If you want to network with the upcoming stars of China’s film business, this is your best option.

In various fields of film, the Academy provides associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. 

Courses in scriptwriting, film theory, film directing, film and television production, acting, art direction for film and television, commercials, animations, sound art, cinematography, photography, and entertainment management are all available within the B.F.A. program.

In addition to undergraduate and graduate programs, various courses are available. Which are:

  • Correspondence courses
  • Night school courses
  • Vocational courses

Presently, there are nine schools that make up the Beijing Film Academy:

  • Management School
  • International Studies School
  • Continuing Education School
  • Audio-Visual Arts and Communication School
  • Animation School
  • Photography School
  • Fine Arts School
  • Sound School
  • Performing Arts School

Their notable alums include directors such as Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou and well-known actors and actresses like Zhao Wei, Chen Kun, Liu Yifei, and Jiang Wenli.

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2. The Central Academy of Drama

In Beijing, the Central Academy of Drama is a well-known drama school. It is one of China’s leading universities for drama and theatrical arts. 

The Academy produced many Chinese actors, actresses, and directors, including Gong Li, Chen Baoguo, and Jiang Wen.

The People’s Republic of China’s first higher education theater institution was the Central Academy of Drama. It is currently one of China’s premier top-level theater and stage arts institutions and is connected to the Ministry of Education. 

The Academy serves as the headquarters for the Asia Theater Education Center (ATEC), the Global Alliance of Theater Schools, and the China Alliance of Theater Higher Educational Institutes (GATS). 

The GATS International Theater Festival has it as its home base as well. It is a well-regarded institution of higher learning in the arts and currently holds the UNESCO CHAIR ON THEATER EDUCATION.

The Dongcheng District’s Dong Mianhua Hutong No. 39 and Changping District’s Hong Fu Middle Rd No. 4 serve as the campuses for the Academy. These two campuses have a combined area of 230 000 m2, and the development zone is roughly 180,000 m2.

The Department of Acting, Department of Directing, Department of Stage Design, Department of Dramatic Literature, Department of Musical Theater, Department of Peking Opera, Department of Western Opera, Department of Dance Drama, Department of Theater Pedagogy, Department of Theater Management, and Department of Film are the various departments within the Academy’s pedagogical programs. 

Also, acting, directing, art design for drama, film & tv, literature on drama, film & tv, theater studies, public utility management, and broadcast & anchoring are among the undergraduate majors available. 

The Academy has top-notch master’s degree and doctoral degree authorization centers in theory studies of art and studies of drama (film & television). A postdoctoral research station for art studies is also available at the Academy.

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3. Shanghai Theater Academy

Shanghai Theater Academy, founded in 1945, specializes in teaching performing arts. It is among the best higher education schools for the arts in the nation.

Acting, acting theories, voice, speaking, movement, introduction to the arts, and other topics are covered in the introductory courses. Acting in Scenes and Acting Fundamentals are the main courses.

The Department of Acting has made significant progress in teaching, acting, and research through international exchange, master classes, workshops, and creative studios, garnering attention and praise both domestically and internationally. 

The principle has made this progress of “inheriting good tradition, innovating teaching ideas, and enriching teaching methods.”

The department’s ethnic minority students are a highlight. It has trained various acting classes for undergraduate students from Inner Mongolia and Tibet, significantly advancing the unification and advancement of China’s ethnic groups.

Numerous professors in the acting department have received honors like the “Yucai Award” in Shanghai and the “Best Director Award” in the Chinese theater competition “Golden Lion Award.”

The Department of Acting, one of S.T.A.’s most significant departments, has expanded along with the school since its establishment. 

It has now developed many actors in the musical, T.V., and stage drama genres. Numerous prestigious honors, including the Hundred Flowers Award, Golden Rooster Award, Golden Hawk Award, Plum Blossom Award, Golden Lion Award, Wenhua Award, Huabiao Award, and Magnolia Award, have been given to more than 100 pupils. It is the birthplace of Chinese actors.

Li Bingbing, Fan Bingbing, Tong Dawei, and Lu Yi are among its former students.

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4. Communication University of China

The Communication University of China, established in 1954, is one of China’s top institutions of higher learning for media and communication. It has produced many top-tier professionals in China’s media and entertainment industries.

By focusing on a course’s application and relevance to the specific topic, C.U.C. upholds its philosophy of providing systems that are oriented toward scientific learning. 

As a result, a disciplinary system that includes the arts of film and television is interrelated and influences one another.

Its Faculty of Art courses include:

  • School of Film and Cinematic Arts
  • School of Animation and Digital Arts
  • School of Music and Recording Arts
  • School of Presentation Art
  • Institute of Art
  • Art Education Center

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5. The National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts

The National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts, established in 1950, is dedicated to developing premier theatrical talent. It is regarded as the birthplace of artists and playwrights. 

The institution houses more than a dozen departments, including those for theatrical arts, opera, performance, music, and stage direction.

Chinese state university National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts (NACTA) in Beijing’s Fengtai District offers B.A., M.A., and M.F.A. degrees in Chinese opera. 

A well-known former National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts student is Niu Junfeng. Xu Weizhou is another illustrious alum. There are 250 faculty members and 2,500 students at this time.

Its departments include:

  • Department of Peking Opera for Peking opera
  • Department of Performing Arts for other Chinese opera genres such as Kunqu
  • Department of Directing
  • Department of Music 
  • Department of Dramatic Writing
  • Department of Stage Design
  • Department of International Exchange

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6. Nanjing University of the Arts, Nanjing

The Nanjing University of the Arts is situated in Jiangsu Province’s capital city of Nanjing. The Shanghai Chinese Art College was the foundation for the university’s creation in 1912. 

There are currently 14 schools, including ones for dance, media, media and design, music, fine arts, and music.

Drama and cinema studies at N.U.A. is the first-level discipline with Ph.D. degrees available. It is a hub for studying drama, film, and television and has a significant domestic and international impact. 

The Ph.D. degree in theater and traditional Chinese opera offered by this field has a rich academic history and is the best program of its kind in China. 

It has an outstanding faculty, notable academic accomplishments in China, eight doctoral mentors, and a favorable academic reputation internationally.

The study of film and television has flourished recently, attracting more and more research resources and expanding academic impact. 

The program has conducted significant national, provincial, and ministerial research. The numerous research grants offer excellent research environments for postdoctoral and other researchers. 

The course is proud of its extensive library resources and other research resources. It features a pleasant academic environment.

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7. Meishi Film Academy of Chongqing University

The Meishi Film Academy, the second film academy established in the People’s Republic of China after the Beijing Film Academy, is one of 28 schools at Chongqing University.

The Hong Kong Meishi Electric Power Group and Chongqing University collaborated on its construction, and the Chinese Ministry of Education has approved it. The Meishi Film Academy now includes about 50 full-time teachers, 21 graduates, and nearly 700 undergraduate students. 

The institution provides 8 undergraduate degrees in performing arts, directing, photography, art design for movies, and drama and film literature. 

Additionally, Zhang Guoli, a well-known producer, director, and actor, is the school’s current dean. Actors Ge You and Gong Li, director Zhang Yimou, Feng Xiaogang, and others all serve as their adjunct teachers.

Its facilities include a multipurpose theater called the “Black Box,” a sizeable multimedia library, a photography lab, a rehearsal room, a video screening room, and much more.

Students are exposed to various instructional methods at Meishi Film Academy, from culturally Chinese to the most recent worldwide methods. 

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8. Zhejiang University of Media and Communications

Zhejiang University of Media and Communications, founded in 1984, specializes in developing talent for the media and broadcast sector. 

Numerous central, provincial, and municipal radio stations, television stations, and film and television production firms have hired graduates from the institution.

One of China’s two top colleges, the Zhejiang University of Media and Communications (ZUMC), focuses on developing experts, talents, and other specialists for the broadcast business and other media and communications-related industries.

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9. Nanjing National Theater Academy

The Nanjing National Theater Academy, often referred to as the National Theater School or the National Theater Academy, was the first institution of higher learning in China to study drama and a drama school in the People’s Republic of China.

Fang Chih established the Nanjing National Theater Academy as a branch of the K.M.T. Central Propaganda Department in the fall of 1935. 

Fang envisioned the school as China’s first-ever university of higher education in the field of drama, endorsing the concepts of the New Life Movement while working on behalf of the CC Clique, an influential group of the Kuomintang. 

The extreme right branch of the K.M.T., the Blue Shirts Society, supported General Chiang Kai-shek and his wife Soong Mei-ling in their creation of the New Life Movement.

Also, the initial site was situated at the southeast apex of Nanjing Gulu and Ssangyong Lane.

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10. Beijing Normal University

Beijing Normal University’s department of Film and Communication was formed in 1992, making it China’s first comprehensive university to do so with a complete training program for both undergraduate and graduate study. 

The academic field of drama, film, and television is the first accredited Doctor of Philosophy-awarding unit in Film Studies and the second in Radio and Television Arts in the nation. 

It is also included in the first batch of postdoctoral research centers and the first batch of M.F.A. pilot programs. 

Drama, Film, and Television discipline is ranked as a critical topic in Beijing, while the area of Film Studies is rated as a national priority cultivation subject. In 2008, the major of Drama, Film, and Television Literature received recognition as a major with state-level specialized qualities. 

Also, in the third discipline review conducted by the Ministry of Education, drama, film, and television came in second.

Additionally, two professors were given master’s prizes in Beijing, two professors were chosen to serve as the project’s chief specialists for the research and construction of Marxism theory, and other senior employees were hired. 

The visiting academics are Professor Blaine, a well-known British documentary author and scholar, and Li Dongguan, the director of the Busan Film Festival.

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What Are The Acting Schools In China For International Students?

If you are an international student and wish to study acting in China. Here are some of the schools of working for international students you can attend:

  • Beijing Film Academy
  • Central Academy of Drama

What Are The FilmMaking Courses In China?

The filmmaking courses in China include:

  • Visual Narrative 1&2
  • Camera technique basics
  • Visual Art History
  • Post-production of Photography 
  • Photography 1&2
  • Chinese Basics
  • Society Study
  • Editing
  • Cultural Comparison
  • Basic Cinematography
  • Lighting Basics
  • Film History
  • Basic Screenwriting 
  • Film Sound
  • Documentary Film Production
  • Chinese Culture and Language 1&2
  • Advanced CGI training
  • Thesis Film making
  • Directing
  • Digital Image technique etc

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Conclusion

China is a great place to start your career as a potential actor. Although most Chinese acting schools accept only their citizens, there are a few that can receive international students.

Therefore, if you wish to be an actor or actress, you can try out any of these great acting schools in China.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best acting school in China?

The Central Academy of Drama

Is it hard to get into the Beijing Film Academy?

One of the lowest admittance rates in the nation and the world is found at Beijing Film Academy. Entry is fiercely competitive.

Is it hard to become an actor in China?

In China, breaking into the acting industry can be extremely difficult because actors frequently face rejection. But that does not imply that it cannot be done.

How Many Foreign Films Are Allowed In China?

Chinese cinemas are allowed to show only 34 foreign films a year.

References

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