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True North heads for China in new co-production

Designed in China (Guo Pei)UK-based independent production company True North is heading for China to make a new documentary series, Designed in China.

The co-production deal will see the indie teaming up with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV9, Beijing-based media company CICC (China Intercontinental Communication Center) and France Television’s pioneering digital channel, France Ô.

The three-part series will be filmed on location in China and Europe and will follow a rising generation of nine Chinese designers in the fields of fashion (including Guo Pei, pictured), architecture and product design.

Production is underway on the series, which will film in several major Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou and Guangzhou as well as more remote areas such as Guizhou. The production team will be sourced by True North and CICC, and will consist mainly of China-based talent. The series will air in France on France Ô and in China on CCTV’s dedicated documentary channel CCTV9.

Executive producer for specialist factual at True North Liz McLeod said: “Design is really flourishing in China today, with great characters and surprising stories to tell. Working with CICC, and a largely China-based team, means that we’re able to follow these stories as they evolve, giving the programmes a richness that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.” 

Wang Yuan Yuan, head of the international department at CICC commented: "In ten years of doing international co-productions, this is the first time I've managed to bring together a foreign broadcaster and a Chinese broadcaster to work with CICC and an international production company. I think this is because - in Chinese design - we've found the right subject."

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