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China, New Zealand and UK launch new production company

Producers from the UK, New Zealand and China have come together to launch Wonder Pictures, a new $5m entity which will produce five feature films over three years based out of Shenzen, China and Auckland, New Zealand.

The producers behind the new venture are Chun-Yi Yueh and Changyu Li and UK writer/producers Robert and Ashley Sidaway, alongside the UK’s Iain Brown and Brown Films.

The first production planned will be the $18m family fantasy adventure The Wonder 3D, directed by BAFTA award-winner Peter Hewitt (Garfield, The Borrowers) (pictured). The ten weeks of principal photography planned for this feature will commence in October 2013 in Auckland and Shenzhen. The mixed Chinese and Western cast members are said to be announced soon.

The joint venture is the first to make use of the brand new Memorandum of Co-Operation, which was signed by government representatives from the cities of Shenzen and Auckland. 

Wonder Pictures’ subsidiary, the Film Institute, will engage with New Zealand and international filmmaking talent to deliver co-productions budgeted between $15m and $40m for global release, and work to develop the infrastructure of film production in Shenzhen.

The filmmakers involved in The Wonder 3D include cinematographer Richard Bluck (Avatar, Beyond the Edge), production designer David L. Snyder (Blade Runner, Demolition Man), visual effects consultant Chris Woods (Spring Breakers, Terminal Velocity) and stunt director Andy Cheng (Twilight, Oz the Great and Powerful).

Production partners include venture capital company RuHing Partners in China, New Zealand Film Commission and Film Auckland

Producer Robert Sidaway said: “Wonder Pictures will produce official Chinese co-productions, absolutely for international sales and distribution, and we are honoured to be working with government support. With our trusted and talented producer friends there is a huge amount of work to be done to fulfil the intentions of this joint venture, which starts with The Wonder 3D as the cornerstone of the operation. A modern day adventure story that was fully developed to entertain viewers in both the East and West. This is a major opportunity for filmmakers and together we are about to do something very special.”

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