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Bruno Wu.[Photo: filmbiz.asia]
Seven Stars Entertainment, the new film and investment conglomerate headed by Chinese entrepreneur Bruno Wu, has struck a deal with local authorities in Tianjin to build a major production facility.
Called the "Chinawood Global Services Base", Seven Stars says the site will require $1.27 billion of investment and be the largest filmed entertainment and media hub in China.
Wu says that the facility is "targeted at the US led global industry" and will be the headquarters for a large number of financial, technical and creative companies.
Some 35% of the investment has been earmarked for film financing, ensuring that the unit "will play a major role as a base for Chinese co-productions with North America, Europe and other countries across the Asia Pacific."
Located between Beijing and Tianjin in the Binhai New Area, the first 35,000 m2 of offices will be open from October this year. Wu has committed two of his other companies Seven Stars Film Studios (SSFS) and Harvest Seven Stars Media Private Equity (HSSMPE) to move in.
The company says that Chinawood will attract overseas funds for co-production of global tentpole and independent films: act as a one-stop production facility; include 2-D to 3-D conversion facilities and act as a marketing and distribution centre. Among its financial services, it will offer a credit guarantee fund.
"With the East Asia film market on course to be worth $10billion by 2015, of which China will account for 50%, and rapidly catching up to North America, it is crucial, as well as inevitable, that we offer the products and services to facilitate substantial cooperation between the two territories. This project is a significant step towards closing that gap by providing expertise and facilities in all areas of financing, legal, co-production, distribution, marketing, sales and infrastructure," Wu said in a statement.
SFS recently announced two joint ventures with US director Justin Lin's Perfect Storm Entertainment and Canadian financier/producer Jake Eberts' Allied Productions East. Allied East's first project Mission Boys written by Erin Cressida Wilson is currently in development. It is envisaged that films resulting from these deals will be distributed by HSSMPE.
Source: Film Business Asia/by Patrick Frater
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