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Chinese Mainland, HK Film World Eyes Big Bonanza
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Hong Kong and Chinese mainland entertainment industry insiders are expecting a big payoff from the third phase of a cross-border trade pact.


The State Administration of Radio Film and Television deputy director Gu Guoqing said Hong Kong would see increasing benefits as the latest stage of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement progressed.


He said before CEPA came into force, only about 10 films were made annually by Chinese mainland and Hong Kong producers.


But now, out of the total of 160 movies that will be produced on the Chinese mainland this year, more than 40 are co-produced by Hong Kong and Chinese mainland companies.


Gu and Hong Kong's Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology Joseph Wong Wing-ping opened MCL cinema city in Shenzhen on Sunday, the first Chinese mainland cinema fully owned by a Hong Kong company under CEPA III.


Gu predicted the gross box office of the Chinese mainland film industry will exceed 2.5 billion yuan, or US$300 million, this year.


He said a few super cooperative movies are coming out at the end of this year, like The Banquet directed by Feng Xiaogang , Curse of the Golden Flower directed by Zhang Yimou and Jackie Chan's Rob-B-Hood.


He added that cooperative movies will attract more investors from overseas and CEPA will bring Hong Kong more advantages in this field.


Under CEPA III, Chinese-language films produced by Hong Kong companies are allowed to be distributed on the Chinese mainland as long as a Hong Kong company owns more than 50 percent of the copyright and more than half of the crew are Hong Kong people.


(CRI August 7, 2006)

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