The ongoing second Beijing International Film Festival has become the hottest national trade platform for film projects, with signed deals worth over 5 billion yuan.
The ongoing second Beijing International Film Festival has become the hottest national trade platform for film projects, with signed deals worth over 5 billion yuan, organizers said Thursday.
Statistics show that the three-day "Beijing Film Market" trade summit was held during the festival, attracting 2,000 industry professionals including legendary director James Cameron, and 640 international film companies and institutions including Motion Picture Association of America, Filming East Festival, German Films, Huayi Brothers and Beijing Galloping Horse Film Co. Ltd. A total of 203 exhibitors set up their booths regarding scripts,equipment, to copyright, new media and micro movie creation.
"21 projects contracts were signed and more than 100 projects reached agreements of intent. The signed deals are worth a total of a record-breaking 5.273 billion yuan (US$836.25 million), the highest for all Chinese film festivals and exhibitions ever," Li Chunliang,the Director-General of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Radio, Film and Television, announced during a contract signing ceremony at the National Convention Center in Beijing.
"Compared to the 2.794 billion yuan (US$443.1 million) harvested at the first festival, the increase rate is as high as 88.7 percent. Among all the signed projects, there are 13 projects worth more than 100 million yuan (US$15.85 million)," he added.
Serving as a platform for the world's filmmakers to discuss industry development and share business opportunities, the festival has shown the world its accelerated China's pace in creating a "metropolis of film and television," said Li.
Among the deals, film projects alone come to a worth of 2.421 billion yuan (US$384 million), including 6 co-productions, such as James Cameron's supported 3D epic "The Art of War" and producer Tom DeSanto's "Gods" trilogy, said one of the festival organizers, Pang Wei, Deputy Director-General of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Radio, Film and Television.
Pang told the press that there are also prospects of building theater chains, film studio bases and special effect production bases, worth a total of 1.95 billion yuan (US$309.3 million). Project planning, financing and technology provider deals come to a total worth of 902 million yuan (US$143 million).
Shang8 Culture Group said they are going to build the "Shang8 Film Industry Park," vowing to build it inside China's first base for the production of "micro movies," while at the same time staying on a tight budget.
Another eye-popping project is the construction of a special effect base, sprouting from the collaboration between Hollywood's top visual effects company Digital Domain and Beijing Galloping Horse.
John Textor, boss of Digital Domain, said his company would help Chinese filmmakers put their dreams on screen and explore Chinese stories to tell the world. "It's a partnership to build a state of art, world-class standard digital production studio," he said, adding the first film project he will do with Galloping Horse, is "The Legend of Tang Bo."
Another highlight of the Beijing Film Market was the debut of the "Project Pitch and Catch" program, which was to select, support and promote film projects with great potential, which are in the preliminary stages of production. Since its launch in February, a total of 137 projects from 12 countries and regions were sent to the festival committee.
After two selection rounds, 20 projects were shortlisted and went through to the final selection. 50 industry veterans and experts were invited to judge and hand out awards. A low-budget project, "Cry Me A Pond", eventually won the first prize. Five other projects, such as 3D animation "Legend of A Rabbit 2", won second and third prizes. They will all receive sponsorships and investment.
Outside the arena of the second Beijing International Film Festival, which runs from April 23 to 28, "Avatar" director James Cameron and 3-D photography guru Vince Pace, slipped out of Beijing and went to Tianjin. They signed a cooperation deal for their 3D technology company Cameron Pace Group (CPG) with representatives from Tianjin Binhai New District and Tianjin North Film Group, to set up their China headquarters in Tianjin, a move to promote 3-D technology among Chinese filmmakers, broadcasters and game designers.