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Theme: “The Future of Culture” // Special focus on artificial intelligence, trans-cultural storytelling and science fiction

Beijing, 28 May 2019 –  From 28 May to 1 June 2019, the 7th StoryDrive Exhibition and Conference will take place as part of the 2019 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing. The international all-media professionals event StoryDrive is organised by Frankfurter Buchmesse (16-20 October 2019, Germany) and Creative Publishing Consulting Ltd. The two-day conference (31 May - 1 June) brings together opinion leaders from around the world from the fields of global literature, publishing, film and television, design and mass media, among others.The five-day StoryDrive Exhibition (28 May - 1 June) complements the conference programme.

This year’s conference theme is “The Future of Culture”. The event’s sessions will approach this focus theme from different angles: The conference will first explore AI’s performance in media integration and its impact on the media industry. Trans-cultural storytelling will be a second focus topic with a star-studded line-up of guest speakers, including China’s online celebrity Afu. Another focus of the 2019 StoryDrive Conference will be science fiction, a sector that has recently garnered increased attention in China’s content industry.

Gong Yingxin, Director of the German Book Information Centre Bejing – Frankfurter Buchmesse's office in China, said: “We are proud that 16 leading players from the international media sector will speak at the 2019 CIFTIS StoryDrive Conference. Keynote speeches, masterclasses and high-end dialogues will guarantee an informative and enriching programme.” Gong Yingxin further pointed out how the event fosters international business relations: “StoryDrive not only introduces advanced ideas and successful cases to China, it also provides an international cross-media platform for presenting China’s content industry. Northern and Western Europe will be among those overseas markets highlighted. Trade meetings with the Chinese publishing media industry will be arranged to promote business exchanges between these markets and China. We are delighted to welcome a delegation of eight senior management members from the German publishing industry to participate in the conference and exhibition and conduct a week-long series of business visits and exchanges during the CIFTIS period.”

Conference programme: “The Future of Culture”

Focus on artificial intelligence
One of the core themes of this year’s StoryDrive event is AI’s performance in media integration and how its impact on the media industry is going forward. Colin Lovrinovic, Managing Director at Gould Finch GmbH, will present the results of the global artificial intelligence survey of the publishing industry by Frankfurter Buchmesse and Gould Finch. Tian Feng, Director of Alibaba Cloud Research Center China, will give a detailed presentation on the latest developments in AI as well as its future impact on the media and lifestyle. A case analysis of the AI sector will come from China’s Gu Zhen Xiao Jian, an AI software that condenses books, plots storyline curves, and generates annual rankings for novels. The second case analysis of the AI sector will be presented by Remi AI, an Australian AI company dedicated to developing natural language processing (NLP).

Trans-cultural storytelling
China’s online celebrity Afu will kick-off this thematic highlight. In the last three years, the series of Chinese and German culture-related videos he has released via WeChat, Weibo, YouTube and other social media platforms have been viewed more than 600 million times, and he has more than 7 million fans across all platforms. He actively participates in Chinese-German cultural activities, and was invited to accompany German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier during his visit to China in December 2018. Yang Liu, renowned bestselling author, designer and university professor is another star speaker. Professor Yang Liu, author of East Meets West, will talk about how to transcend cultural boundaries. A third speaker comes from Frankfurter Buchmesse's 2019 Guest of Honour, Norway: Bestselling author Erlend Loe has published 11 novels, as well as children and literary works and a series of film and TV scripts. His works have been translated into 35 languages.

Science fiction on the rise
A sector that has recently garnered increased attention in China’s content industry is science fiction (SF). At the 2019 StoryDrive Conference, SF author Sebastian Pirling, and the editor of the German edition of Liu Cixin’s works will be speaking. Pirling will talk about the reception of SF authors in the German market and analyse the latest trends regarding SF content. In addition, Li Zhaoxin, video and brand VP of China’s largest SF literature platform, Future Affairs Administration, will give a detailed presentation of the latest developments in SF literature in China.

Exhibition and networking:

The StoryDrive Exhibition complementing the event programme will be held for five days (28 May - 1 June) at a 120sqm area on the third floor of the China National Convention Centre and will feature more than 50 artworks and over 200 books. The winners of the 2018 “Most Beautiful Books in Germany” competition and the award-winning works from the 2018 Global Illustration Award will be on display. Book collections by Frankfurter Buchmesse – "A Century of Bauhaus" and the "Triadic Ballet Interactive Display", and a special exhibition of Yang Liu’s works will be presented as well.

In addition, the international online copyright transaction platform IPR License will hold a presentation and a workshop. Two StoryDrive receptions, “Norway – Culture and Publishing” on 31 May, and “German Culture and Publishing” on 1 June, will provide opportunities for networking.

For more information and the entire conference programme please visit in a new window)


About Frankfurter Buchmesse
Frankfurter Buchmesse is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – with over 7,500 exhibitors from 109 countries, around 285,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and some 10,000 accredited journalists and bloggers in attendance. It is the most important international marketplace for content – from novels and children’s books to academic databases and stories for films, games and virtual reality experiences. Publishing professionals from around the world meet here with partners from the technology sector and from related creative and cultural industries, sparking new partnerships and business models. A strong conference programme ensures that Frankfurter Buchmesse is a major source of inspiration for content experts from around the world. Since 1976, the book fair has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. Frankfurter Buchmesse organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets. Frankfurter Buchmesse is a subsidiary of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers & Booksellers Association). in a new window)


Contact for the media:
Press & Corporate Communication, Frankfurter Buchmesse
Katja Böhne, Vice President Marketing & Communications, Phone: +49 (0) 69 2102-138(opens in a new window), in a new window)
Kathrin Grün, Head of Communications, Phone: +49 (0) 69 2102-170(opens in a new window), in a new window)
Ines Bachor, PR Manager, Phone: +49 (0) 69 2102-189(opens in a new window), in a new window)