Scarcely has a state subsidy program that is meaningful to foreign pictures. Much more relevant are the three forms of co-production that allow foreign companies to work with Chinese studios and other production entities, and which may be co-investors:
n Joint productions (aka “official co-productions”) in which both parties invest, production is in Mandarin and the film has the automatic right to be distributed in China.
n Coordinated productions (aka “assisted productions”) in which a foreign company works with a local Chinese company for a fee. Film is treated as foreign for quota purposes.
n Commissioned productions, in which foreign company pays for local production, applies mostly to shorts.
Full co-productions are the most interesting (and hardest to arrange), although assisted productions raise the possibility of using low-cost crews and facilities. No financial ceilings apply.
Beijing Film Studio
Four large-scale studios, one f/x studio. Recent shoots include “Kill Bill” “Song of Youth,” “A Sigh”
Shanghai Media Group
4915 Beisong Rood, Chedun Town, Songjiang District, Shanghai, 201611
Tel: 8621 5760 1166; 8621 5760 1627
Western Movie Group (Xi’an)
Productions include “Warriors of Heaven and Earth,” “Red Sorghum”
Changchun Film Group
Eight stages, extensive backlot including partial Forbidden City replica.
Hengdian World Studios
No.1 Wansheng South St., Hengdian, Zhejiang, China. Tel: 86-579-6555668; Fax: 86-579-6555885. Massive lot includes 13 sets, reconstruction of Forbidden City.
Most post-production facilities are integrated into the studios but there are some independents:
VR Vision Rouge, 86-21 131 625 18830
Post Production Shanghai: Block 5, The Bridge 8, No.8-10, Jian Guo Zhong Road, Shanghai 200025, 86-21 54660818, fax 21-54660817.
None exists, but Changchun and Xi’an studios are both members of the Asia FILM COMMISSIONS: Network. First step is often to approach China Film Co-Production Corp.
Territory has a Film Guarantee Fund, administered by the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority, to encourage private-sector banks to invest in the industry. The fund is able to cover 50% of a bank loan to films that have secured completion arrangements. But the loan support might not represent more than 35% of the total production budget. To date, the FGF has put up $1.2 million.
New studio with five stages, 30 recording studios. Opens officially in fourth quarter 2005.
Film Services Office, www.fso-tela.gov.hk
In 2003, a total of $3.1 million was set aside to provide 50% production subsidies of up to $432,000 per film through the Film Guidance Fund administered by the Government Information Office. It aided 14 features and two animated films deemed to be culturally valuable. A separate $201,000 provision was allocated for four shorts and three documentaries. Concerned that Taiwan’s films are completely ignored by the local population — they have less than 2% market share — the GIO last year widened the fund’s remit to include more commercial pictures. Statistics are not available, but in May, Taiwan appeared to introduce a tax deduction scheme, modeled on the German system, which would be the first of its kind in Asia.
The aim is to provide 50% of budget for midbudget pictures through a mixture of private cash and a 20% rebate that the GIO is offering qualifying films. The main requirements are that one-third of screen time be filmed in Taiwan and that Taiwanese actors make up a third of the cast. The first two that appear set to take advantage of the tax credits are “The Book of the Dead”, by George Huang (“Swimming With Sharks”), and drama “920 Sacramento.” Both are reported to have budgets of $12 million.
Central Motion Picture Corp.
Been around for 50 years and represents Taiwan’s only fully integrated studio. Attracts little business of that kind these days. Also post. (Tel.:886 2 2758-3566)
Tel: 886 2 2785-9050
FILM COMMISSIONS/PROMO BOARDS:
Contact is the motion picture department of the GIO or Central Motion Picture Corp. (www.movie.com.tw)