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Mutual market intelligence is the key, says ACE seminar

Okinawa festival extends ties with Busan

BY JEANNOH The 3rd Okinawa International Movie Festival in Japan is strengthening its links with the Busan International Film Festi- val, appointing honorary Busan festival director Kim Dong-ho as honorary chairman of the event, while Busan festival director Lee Yong-kwan has been appointed head of the competition jury. Chinese comedy star Wang

Rugang, Taiwanese film director and writer Chu Yu-ning and Japa- nese artist Oshiro Kiyota are join- ing Lee in judging six films in competition selected by audience juries and presenting the Golden Caesar Award. The festival runs March 18-27. Founded by entertainment

conglomerate Yoshimoto Kogyo, the Okinawa festival is the only comedy-focused festival in Japan. It has had a close relationship with Busan since its inception. Kim was head of the first and sec- ond juries at Okinawa. The Okinawa festival is also

gathering donations to help those affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami. Since his retirement from the

position of co-festival director at Busan, Kim has received the Asian Film Award for outstanding con- tribution to Asian cinema. His book about his journeys to film festivals around the world, Mr Kim Goes To Festivals (aka Film, Film People And Film Festivals) which was published in Korea last year, will be translated into Japa- nese and released in April.

BY LIZ SHACKLETON Producers in China and Europe need a deeper understanding of each other’s markets before they can work together successfully, said panellists at a Sino-European co-production seminar here at Fil- mart on Tuesday. Part of ‘Co-production Lab Hong

Kong’, an event organised by Atel- iers du Cinema Europeen (ACE) and consultants Sinapses Asia, four panellists discussed the challenges and opportunities in co-producing projects between Europe and Chi- nese-speaking territories. “Sometimes when a foreign film

comes to China, the Chinese co- producer would prefer to only take the Chinese rights because they don’t know what they can earn from the international market,” said Isabelle Glachant, who is produc- ing Wang Xiaoshuai’s Sino-French co-production Eleven Flowers, which is in post-production. “Also the [foreign] producer

thinks they will never know the exact figures from the Chinese market, so they might as well for- get about the Chinese rights. That results in co-productions that are not really made for both markets.”

Farhan Akhtar and starring Shah Rukh Khan, did recently. Chu Chen On, executive pro-

From left: Chu Chen On, Chow Keung and Isabelle Glachant Producer Chow Keung, who

runs China’s Xstream Pictures with Jia Zhangke, agreed with Glachant: “At the moment, there’s not much mutual trust between Chinese and European producers. There has to be a learning process and the trans- parency of the Chinese box office needs to be increased.” Panellists also spoke of the ben-

efits of putting together co-pro- ductions under official treaties — which opens access to Euro- pean subsidies — and how the growth of the Chinese film market is affecting co-production. “A film like [Lou Ye’s] Summer Palace couldn’t be made today because Chinese investors only want to put

money into big, commercial pro- ductions,” Glachant explained. She also pointed out that some

European funds now exclude China from their funding pro- grammes as the country is consid- ered too wealthy for special support. China currently has official co-

production treaties with France and Italy, and is in talks with the UK, Russia and Belgium. At present there is no treaty between China and Germany, though Kirsten Nie- huus, managing director of Medi- enboard Berlin Brandenburg, said she hoped Chinese productions would shoot in Germany, as Indian blockbuster Don 2, directed by

ducer at Hong Kong and Beijing- based October Pictures, also talked about the difference in pro- duction costs between Hong Kong and mainland China: “If you just compare unit costs, China may be cheaper but there are other costs,” Chu explained. “Chinese crews are bigger and expect you to provide accommodation, whereas in Hong Kong the crew just goes home every night. On the other hand, China has bigger assets in terms of extras and locations.” October Pictures recently co-

produced romantic drama Hong Kong Confidential with Latvia’s Krukfilms, while Chow is working on Emily Tang’s documentary Secret Garden, which is a co-pro- duction between Italy, China and Hong Kong. A total of 16 projects — six from

Europe and 10 from Chinese- speaking countries — have been selected to participate in Co-pro- duction Lab Hong Kong, which is being held in conjunction with Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF).

OMGact Entertainment debuts with An Assassin

BY JEANNOH Japanese production, distribution and international sales agency OMGact Entertainment makes its international debut at Filmart, selling its first feature, An Assassin. The company is primarily a

New media in focus at Filmart Louis Koo and Gao Yuanyuan were here on Monday to promote Romancing In

“One difficulty is that investors

At the Hong Kong Film New Action — Beyond Box Office symposium yesterday, experts discussed how to distribute their films through new media and the importance of including in their production plans ancillary products such as film- related games and toys, and adaptation of films into animations or comic books, and vice versa.

In the panel on Opportunity

Knocks — Film’s New Markets and Products, Celestial Pictures CEO Ross Pollack ran a discussion on cross-sector collaboration. “We need to build and foster an

integrated market and not just look at separate markets,” said Sze Yan Ngai, CEO of Gameone Group Limited and chairman of HKGIA.

n 4 Screen International at Filmart/HAF/HKIFF March 23, 2011

are impatient. They need to understand it’s worth respecting the time it takes to develop content,” said Wang Li, director of 37 Entertainment. “You have to figure out what each

entity can contribute,” said Joe Zuo, vice-president of Shanda Games & Partner of 18 Fund. “It’s easier to take a game and its characters and turn it into a film, rather than vice versa.”

Thin Air, the Media Asia-backed romantic comedy currently shooting in China

management firm which repre- sents extreme action performers, martial artists, actors, dancers and musicians, in addition to anime and drama. “We’ve done deals with Yahoo!

Japan and YouTube, so top-rank- ing videos of our Xtreme Martial Artist Team 2X from Toronto are online, and Ballet In The Park is on TV Kanagawa. We’re selling these short videos mainly for new media and TV, but they are meant to showcase our performers,” said Shinji Nishimura of OMGact, who added performers were available for casting in international films. Shot in Sendai before the

Jean Noh

March 11 earthquake, An Assassin sets modern gunplay and action

An Assassin

against the scenic beauty of Japan. The action noir film follows an assassin whose life changes when he falls in love with a high-school girl. In post-production, the film is directed by Go Ohara (Geisha Assassin, Psycho Gothic Lolita) and stars Ryoma Baba, Yuki Kubota and Sayuri Iwata. The company also has the chil-

dren’s animation Kumasan at the market.

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