Chinese get pitch perfect at SIFF

CFPC offers day of pitch training

SHANGHAI — Three days of intensive pitching came to an end on Friday evening when the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival’s China Film Pitch & Catch (CFPC) sessions wrapped.

Intended to promote the development of Chinese-foreign co-productions, and provide a little education for Chinese directors looking to hone their investment strategies, CFPC hit the ground running on Tuesday with a half-day of pitch training.

Seven Chinese helmers in search of funding (chosen from around 80 applicants) received one-on-one advice from American Film Institute consultant James Hindman and Elizabeth Daley, dean of USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Two days later, the seven pitched their now-honed projects to major Chinese and overseas investors, watched by several hundred international filmmakers, festival delegates and the press.

For young Chinese directors unused to the rigors of the five-minute pitch it was an intimidating experience and several came unstuck, mostly due to nerves.

“This type of presentation represents a whole new skill set for most of us,” said Gu Xiaobai, whose film “Going West” was an entrant at the event. “Mostly it’s about controlling your nerves and knowing what you want to say. You have to find a way to present your project truthfully, but focus on what makes it different from the other films being pitched.”

A further 32 projects, a mix of local and international films outside the main pitching competition, were presented on Thursday.

Potential investor line-up featured about 20 European, U.S. and pan-Asian production houses, including Arte France Cinema, Orisa Produzioni and Unijapan, as well as a dozen or so Chinese companies.

“We have found enormous improvement in the organization this year, but there is still a lot to be done,” said Cristiano Bortone from Orisa, who has attended pitching sessions at SIFF before. “Making co-productions happen between Europe and a very different country like China is very difficult.”

At the closing event on Friday evening, two of the original seven projects were awarded prizes.

Yang Shupeng’s “The Robbers,” an historical kung fu action film, took the prize for the project with the biggest potential. Xiao Jiang’s “Goth’s Breath,” a contemporary rock ‘n’ roll dance film, won the award for most creative project. Both directors received free film processing credits with Cinelabs Beijing.

More Film

  • BAFTA headquarters at 195 Piccadilly, London

    BAFTA Undertakes Major Renovation of Its London Headquarters

    BAFTA has undertaken a major renovation of its London headquarters that will double the building’s capacity and increase space devoted to the British academy’s programs to promote skills training and new talent. Work has already begun on the $31 million overhaul, which is expected to take two years. In the interim, BAFTA will relocate its [...]

  • Andhadhun

    Booming Digital Lifts Eros Indian Film Distribution Giant

    Eros International, India’s largest and most controversial film distributor, says that its digital revenues now outstrip conventional theatrical and syndication revenues. Its Eros Now streaming platform claims 18.8 million paying subscribers. The New York-listed company reported annual results that were distorted by multiple adjustments to presentation. Reported revenues in the year to end of March [...]

  • The Eight Hundred (The 800)

    Second Huayi Brothers Film Is Canceled as Company's Losses Mount

    Still reeling from the cancellation of the theatrical release of its blockbuster “The Eight Hundred,” production studio Huayi Brothers has been hit with another setback: Its comedy “The Last Wish” has also been quietly pulled from China’s summer lineup. Both films have fallen afoul of China’s increasingly heavy-handed censors. The unwelcome development comes as Huayi [...]

  • Sean AstinCritics' Choice Awards, Arrivals, Los

    Film News Roundup: Sean Astin Cast in 'Mayfields Game,' 'Charming the Hearts of Men'

    In today’s film news roundup, Sean Astin gets two roles, two “Peanuts” movies are set for release, “One Last Night” gets distribution and Brian De Palma gets honored. CASTINGS Sean Astin has been cast in a pair of upcoming feature films: “Mayfield’s Game” opposite Mira Sorvino and “Charming The Hearts of Men” opposite Kelsey Grammer. Astin [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content