Fest organizers say deals signed this year up 87%

The organizers of the Beijing Film Festival have said that the value of deals signed at this year’s event, which wraps Saturday, is up 89% to 5.27 billion yuan ($476 million).

There were pacts involving 21 film projects signed at the fest, with six of them co-productions.

More than 600 shingles attended the fest, with more than 2,000 biz figures involved.

Local giant China Film Group announced a pact with the New Deal Studios to co-produce pics in China, including a war movie helmed by Fang Gangliang, which would serve as a test project. “This project is to see if the two parties can collaborate well. We are looking toward a j.v. at our production base in Huairou,” said Lan Shujin, chief representative at China Film Group’s L.A. office.

Local shingle Galloping Horse formally announced its link up with the vfx and CG animation company Digital Domain to form Digital Domain Galloping Horse Studio. The agreement includes a license for the new j.v. to use Digital Domain’s technology for converting images into 3D.

The two also formally bowed their collaboration on “The Legend of Tembo.”

Le Vision Pictures said it has picked up mainland Chinese distribution rights to Lionsgate’s “The Expendables 2″ and plans a day-and-date with its U.S. release on Aug. 17. The first pic in the franchise took $32 million in 2010.

The org said it intended to make the fest the region’s main fest, reflecting the growing significance of the Chinese film market, which is reckoned to have overtaken Japan this year to become the second biggest B.O. market in the world.

“We are aiming to develop the Beijing festival into the biggest film festival and film market in Asia in three to five years,” said Pang Wei, deputy director of Beijing’s Municipal Bureau of Radio, Film and Television.

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