Chinese media giants link up

Film and new media groups agree deal

The China Film Group has announced a strategic linkup with new-media experts China Vision Media Group that will see each invest $88 million and integrate their resources, as well as bolster work by young helmers.

Deal extends to film, TV and new media as well as a range of joint cooperation projects, the groups said at a signing ceremony at a Beijing hotel Wednesday.

China’s biz is hopping right now. Average monthly box office between January and May was $150 million, and the Film Bureau reckons this year’s B.O. will soar to $1.5 billion.

Among projects to benefit from the linkup will be “Founding of a Party,” the follow-up to the blockbuster propaganda pic “Founding of a Republic” that will see China Film Group prexy Han Sanping and helmer Huang Jianxin direct again. Other projects include Shang Jing’s “My Own Swordsman”; “The Underdog Knight 2,” by Ding Sheng; and “Qiu jin,” which deals with the events leading to the establishment of the 1911 republic, sure to be a big theme in cinema in China next year as the centenary approaches.

China Vision Media is flush with cash, having recently received $150 million in credit from Bank of Beijing.The signing ceremony was attended by the great and the good of Chinese cinema. As well as Han Sanping and Dong Ping, chairman of China Vision Media Group, the attendees included Cui Bin, prexy of China Vision Media; Liu Xiaolin, the CEO of China Vision Media; helmers Huang Jianxin, Shang Jing and Ding Cheng; as well as thesps Chen Baoguo, Liu Ye, Zhang Jingchu, Zhao Liang, Vincent Chiao and Huang Man.

On the new-media side, deal will see both shingles invest and lense 365 new-media audio and video programs, each three minutes long. Such programs rep a major platform in China, where a huge number of webizens access their online content via cell phones.

China Film Group content will be carried on Vision Media’s video mobile phone TV platform, Renmin. China Film Group is a true giant of the Chinese film biz, dominating production, distribution, marketing and importing foreign films. It operates more than 400 movie theaters, accounting for more than a half of the country’s total box office market share. China Vision Media Group is involved in film and television drama production, media management and wireless new-media operation of mobile phone and is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

“The cooperation with China Film Group will be an effective integration of media development. CFG’s advantage is the contents and theater distribution network, while our strength is in traditional and new media. A cooperation means our resources complement each other,” said China Vision Media chairman Dong.

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