Chinese investment — or at least the announcement thereof — keeps rolling in, as the seventh annual U. S.-China Film Summit sweeps through Los Angeles. At the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday evening, the China Film Co. and the Pegasus Media Group joined Hong Kong’s Co-High Investment Management Co. to announce the creation of a $100 million fund to back scripts and cast retainers for U. S.-China film co-productions. The new entity is called the China-U. S. Film Co-production Project Development Fund, the companies said. Announcement of its creation comes on the heels of a disclosure that China’s Alibaba, the e-commerce giant, is putting $1.5 billion into digital entertainment and media ventures.
Word of the new development fund came at a gathering of agents, producers and assorted power players from both Hollywood and the Chinese film and investment communities. In a statement, Jiang Ping, general manager of the China Film Co., said those involved with the fund would gain “insight” from what he called the “industrialized development system of U.S. Hollywood film projects.” If that sounds a bit like the internationalization of “development hell,” so be it. The backers are substantial companies, and the checks should clear—as long as projects assembled by the fund pass muster with regulators in China.
“Co-production projects must first conform to China’s relevant national policies, the co-produced films can be released in cinemas in the U.S. and worldwide and can also be distributed in the digital way,” said Sun Jianjun, president of Pegasus Media, also in a statement.
“We sincerely hope that the China-US Film Co-production Project Development Fund will provide a professional, reliable, practical and efficient communication bridge and system platform” between China and Hollywood, the China Film Co.’s Jiang added.