Fox into Chinese docs

News Corp.'s Asian venture cleared for takeoff

AUCKLAND — Fox-owned Natural History New Zealand is tapping into a rich source of documentary topics by opening a production office in Beijing.

The company has spent months negotiating the China venture and will be based in parent company News Corp.’s offices from May.

The office will have one or two permanent staff, and directors and crew will be sent to China as required.

NHNZ will work with Chinese filmmakers to land pics for the company’s catalogue of factual programming, which sells to broadcasters including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC and PBS in the U.S., NHK in Japan and NKR in Germany.

Teaching the craft

Under the agreement, NHNZ will also hold workshops for Chinese filmmakers, introducing them to western production techniques and storytelling.

“There are extraordinarily talented filmmakers in China who are working on wonderful projects. We can help them create programming which is unique and which has strong appeal to global audiences,” NHNZ managing director Michael Stedman says.

Asia is familiar territory for NHNZ, which has made nearly 30 programs there, including “Wild Asia.”

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