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Ten years of Australian-Chinese co-production

Jackie Chan This week marks a decade since the signing of the Australian-Chinese co-production treaty, a milestone that will be marked by a forum in Brisbane this week. 

Screen professionals from both countries will gather to acknowledge the anniversary of the agreement, which has seen eight Australian-Chinese co-productions announced to date with more in the pipeline. 

The most recent co-production to be agreed was At Last, announced in April this year, while among the higher-profile features to come out of the treaty is Jackie Chan’s Bleeding Steel (pictured), which was filmed in Sydney in summer 2016. 

CEO of Screen Australia, Graeme Mason, said: “Co-productions, internationally, offer great opportunities for the screen industry. It is an opportunity for us to engage with other cultures, to send shared stories out to our own audiences and those around the world, and it builds a bridge between countries. 

“Commercially they make sense. They offer a chance for talented creative teams to work together and deliver financing that may otherwise be out of reach. For Australian producers, an approved official co-production feature film enables access to the Producer Offset incentive of 40% return on Australian expenditure.”

Miao Xiaotian, general manager, China Film Co-Production Corporation, said: “In the past ten years, progress has been made in film co-productions between China and Australia. More importantly, under the framework of the agreement, frequent interactions and in-depth exchanges have taken place between film agencies and industry professionals in the two countries. The film co-operation between the two countries has gradually moved into best practice.”

Screen Australia works in tandem with Ausfilm to promote Australia to international producers and companies. The country has co-production treaties around the world, with the Ministry for Arts handling the official arrangements.

China also has co-production treaties with Canada, Italy, the UK, India, France, Belgium and the Netherlands – a list that is bound to grow considerably as the Chinese film industry has relaxed regulations and is now a massive market, second only to the US in global scale.  

Photo via Getty Images/James D Morgan.