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China announces US co-production film fund

Hong KongChina has announced a new $100m co-production film fund to help boost collaborations with the US.

The money is being offered by China Film Company and the country’s Pegasus Media Group, and was announced at a ceremony in Los Angeles, Variety reports.

Funds will cover expenses such as the purchase of script rights and securing major star performers to headline films.

“The investment evaluation criteria of the China-US Film Co-production Project Development Fund are that the film co-production projects must first conform to China’s relevant national policies, the co-produced films can be released in cinemas in the US and worldwide and can also be distributed digitally,” said Sun Jianjun of Pegasus Media Group, according to Variety.

China is eager to benefit from western production experience, but authorities want to make sure they invest in content they consider suitable for Chinese audiences.  

News of the film fund comes just a few weeks after China’s Dalian Wanda Group announced a filming incentive of up to 40% for productions that choose to shoot at the Qingdao Movie Metropolis, currently in development in eastern China.

For more on filming in China and for local contacts see our production guide.

As a sign of China’s interest in Hollywood, more than 200 of the country’s executives are attending the American Film Market this week in California. Discussions will include co-production options on both the Chinese mainland and in Hong Kong. 

China is also expanding its UK partnerships. Pinewood Studios has consulted on the development of the Qingdao Movie Metropolis and recently announced the opening of an office in Beijing

Upcoming movie The Lady and the Panda will film partly in China to tell the true story of the first live panda to be brought from China to the US in the 1930s, and is being made as a UK-China co-production.