SMP, China in co-prod’n deal

To co-produce 3 films

Relations between Hollywood and China are not always so chilly as they may sometimes appear.

The China Film Co-Production Corp., China’s official agency for international co-productions, has signed a letter of intent with Santa Monica Pictures and Beijing-based CPCI Intl. Financial Investment Inc. to co-produce three features films, the companies announced Wednesday.

The Los Angeles and China-based organizations will provide co-financing for the first three features, which will be filmed in China and Los Angeles.

The first project slated for production is a film adaptation of Frank Shi’s book “Faraway to Canaan,” the life story of a Chinese man in post-revolutionary China who immigrates to the United States.

SMP will supervise development of the film. It will act under special exemption from current Chinese regulations allowing it to conduct post-production outside China.

“This will mark the first time that China has granted an exception to the country’s co-production guidelines,” said David Rose, chairman and CEO of SMP. “It is a testament to their flexibility and willingness to adapt to special circumstances.”

Santa Monica Pictures is the production arm of Santa Monica Studios.