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[Photo: Film Business Asia]
A high profile gathering of producers, distributors, film financiers and other interested onlookers gathered yesterday in Los Angeles to talk about bilateral relations between the US and China.
The questions posed were the now familiar ones – how to make co-production films; will co-productions matter as the Chinese distribution market is allowed to open slightly more; and how long can the China market continue to grow – that have become standard topics at numerous other film festivals, markets and other forums that are tuning in to the Asian vibe.
The sessions yesterday concluded with a glitzy dinner that honoured Han Sanping, head of the China Film Group, and a man who remains one of the key 'people to know' for the Hollywood players who are seeking a piece of the China business.
Attendees included Sid Ganis, former head of AMPAS; Wang Lifeng, of Wuxi Jinyu Investment Management; Liu Yuan, co-chair of China Mainstream Media NFC and Zhang Xun, president of China Film Co-Production Corporation; Bennett Pozil of East West Bank, talent managers David Unger (ICM), Larry Galper (CAA) and Andrew Ooi (Echelon Talent Management).
Organised by the Asia Society and held on the UCLA campus, yesterday's seminars and dinner were held on the eve of the American Film Market, which got underway in nearby Santa Monica on Wednesday.
And it was not the only example this week of China – US getting to know each other sessions.
Only four days earlier the Motion Picture Association had organised another power-hitters bash at the Fox Studios lot. That included James Cameron, Fox International Productions' Sanford Panitch, Fox's Paul Hanneman, Bona Films' Yu Dong, MPA chief Christopher Dodd, producer Chris Lee and director Pauline Chan. It also lauded Han Sanping.
Another seminar session, held under the auspices of AFM and Hong Kong's Trade Development Council, will be held Thursday on Hong Kong's role as a gateway between China and the film industries of the rest of the world.
That will involve Zhou Tiedong, of China Film Promotion International; DreamWorks Oriental executive Tracey Trench and producer-director Janet Yan and Yvonne Chuang, GM of Tomson International.
While it is not clear which of the overlapping conferences and seminars advance the debate about the Hollywood-Chinese co-habitation, but it seems that each allows the circle of interest to be expanded incrementally.
And while it should be no surprise that there is extensive international trade between the world's two top economic superpowers, the seminars, the box office trends and the films themselves all point to an ever greater US-China interdependency.
As several speakers pointed out, Hollywood is looking to booming China as a replacement for its ex-growth traditional markets. At the same time Chinese film-makers are desperate to succeed on a world stage and increasingly see a Hollywood studios and kudos as the most viable platform.
Source: Film Business Asia
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