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CineAsia packs bags, heads to China

Agreement for Beijing to host for one year

SYDNEY — After rotating around Southeast Asia for 10 years, the Cine Asia movie convention is headed behind the Bamboo Curtain next year.

The confab will be staged Dec. 13-15 in Beijing, organizers said Monday, with support and cooperation of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and the China Film Group.

“Next year marks the 100th anniversary of Chinese films, and that’s one good reason why Beijing is keen to tie in with us,” said Bob Sunshine, Cine Asia co-managing director. “Also, the Chinese want to be more involved in the international marketplace, and we can help with that.”

The confab and trade show will be held at the China World Trade Center and the adjacent China World Hotel; a cinema will be chosen in the next six months.

Agreement for Beijing to host the event is for one year. “If things go well, we will look to move to Shanghai in the second and third year,” Sunshine added.

The organizers have been assiduously courting China Film Group in the past few years, including handing a special media award to CFG chairman-CEO Yang Buting at last year’s Cine Asia.

U.S. distribs welcome the convention’s move to China, seeing this as part of their efforts to make that market more accessible for U.S. product, and to achieve better terms than the 13% share of grosses their films typically receive.

“There is still a sizable gulf between the two sides in terms of what we want from the relationship,” said one Hollywood exec. “That being said, these events (like the Beijing Olympics) can only help to bring China Film into the fold of the international film industry.”

CineAsia is being held in Bangkok next month (Dec. 7-9) for the third and final year. Attendees will see “Ocean’s Twelve,” “National Treasure,” “The Polar Express” in 3-D, and “Ray.”

A Dec. 9 seminar will provide an update on the Chinese market, with speakers including Imax’s Larry O’Reilly, Warner Intl. Theaters’ T.J. Green, Texas Instruments’ Brooke Williams and Han Entertainment’s Thomas Chung.

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