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European Filmmakers Rivet Eye on Chinese Market
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Movie producers from Europe are keen on China's film market. Some of them are seeking cooperators in the country, and some others gathering Chinese legends as the source materials for their future creations.


The Chinese Government will team up with Europe, a traditional film production base, on exploring the film bonanza in China, Zhang Pimin, deputy director of the State Film Bureau, said at the ongoing 9th Shanghai International Film Festival held in Shanghai, the largest metropolis of China.


Zhang said China has already signed an agreement with Italy on cooperation in film production. Talks on the similar issue are well under way between China and France.


The Chinese Government is mulling over preferential policies to encourage joint-venture film production by China and European nations. Products based on the cooperation will enjoy a national treatment and be sold directly on the Chinese market.


Meanwhile, China has cut tax from box-office value of films that are jointly produced by Chinese and foreign studios by half--the rate from 20 percent to 10 percent.


According to official statistics, China's film industry, seen as a rising star, realized approximately two billion yuan (US$250 million) in box-office value last year. The figure is predicted to hit eight billion yuan (US$1 billion) in the coming few years.


The promising market and related incentives are attractive to European filmmakers.


At the Shanghai film festival, the Britain-based BBC is searching for a possible Chinese partner for its new movie, which will illustrate a legendary story about a Chinese boy's adventure by kite around the world.


The British media company is not unique.


A total of 18 well-known European film studios led by Jean Cazes, chairman of the European Producer Club, attended the seven-day event.


He said that the door of China's film industry has indeed opened.


"A history of 5,000 years, terra cotta warriors and the Great Wall. There are so many dreamy materials for filmmakers in China," he said.


The Silk and Steel Productions from Europe is going to shot a tragic love story set in Shanghai and based on the European myth, the Flying Dutchman.


Different from Hollywood studios which are also tapping the Chinese movie market, the European film producers pay more attention to spirit of humanity and to the life of common people.


Han Sanping, general manager of China Film Group, believed that cooperation between Chinese and European filmmakers would achieve a win-win result.


(Xinhua News Agency June 26, 2006)

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