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Huairou Film Base does big business

Studio nabs revs of $132 million

BEIJING — China’s giant Huairou Film Base, Asia’s largest facility, has had a boffo first year grabbing revenues in 2008 of 906 million yuan ($132 million) — even though it only officially opened in August.

Located in a suburb north of Beijing, Huairou covers 131 acres and cost $294 million to build. It provides facilities for almost everything about production and post-production, including 16 studios, a digital production studio and a prop/costume warehouse.

Among the first projects to use Huairou was Chen Kaige’s biopic of Peking opera master Mei Lanfang, “Forever Enthralled,” while helmer Li Shaohong shot a TV adaptation of the classic novel “A Dream of the Red Chambers” there.

The management is forecasting annual production at Huairou of 80 films and 200 TV series and films, with capacity to shoot up to 500 skeins.

Many big players in the Chinese biz have set up offices at Huairou, including Huayi Brothers and Rosem Films.

The studios have also provided work as extras for over 1,000 local farmers.

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