FME sets up shop with Asian Union

Duo team to beef up trade in factual content

In what is claimed to be the first deal of its kind, FremantleMedia Enterprises, the distribution arm of the production powerhouse, and Chinese shingle Asian Union are setting up a joint venture to beef up trade in Chinese factual content.

Asian Union’s Liu Xiao Lin will be chairman of the new entity, Vision Ventures Media. FME veep of sales for Asia Ganesh Rajaram will sit on the board and be responsible for the programming relationship between the two parties.

Partners hope their tie-up, unveiled at the Mip TV programming market on Tuesday, will serve as a conduit for factual shows between China and the rest of the world and involve local producers and international partners on co-productions.

First fruit of the deal is the programming block Vision, which bowed in China in January. It airs reversioned FME fare such as “World at War,” “Hitler’s Bodyguard,” “Black Gold” and “Arctic Exposure With Nigel Marven.”

The joint venture intends to use FME’s distribution expertise and Asian Union’s experience to develop and finance projects from Chinese broadcasters and producers.

Suitable Chinese programs will be adapted for the international market and distributed by FME.

FME shows have been distributed in China for seven years, but the joint venture will allow its business to expand further.

“Although tape distribution was successful in China, we didn’t think we could grow,” said FME chief exec David Ellender. “VVM allows us to get closer and understand the Chinese market, and gives us a basis for building relations.”

VVM hopes to have program blocks on 20 TV stations in China by the end of the year. It’s also developing a documentary, “What Makes China Tick,” with China Education Television.

Liu, Asia Union’s executive director and prexy, said, “We’re confident that the partnership will result in some ground-breaking factual programs and new relationships as the Chinese broadcast and production market takes its place on the world stage.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Benjamin Wallfisch - scoring session, Abbey

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch Signs With Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch has signed with the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency (GSA) for worldwide representation, in partnership with London-based agency COOL Music Ltd. A top composer, whose scoring credits include “It Chapter Two,” Shazam!” Hellboy,” “Hidden Figures” and “Hostile Planet,” among others, Wallfisch has worked on over 75 feature films and is a member of the BAFTA [...]

  • The Moneychanger

    Toronto Film Review: ‘The Moneychanger’

    Uruguayan auteur Federico Veiroj (“The Apostate,” “Belmonte”) broadens his usual intimate dramatic scope to diminishing returns for his fifth feature, “The Moneychanger,” . Adapted from a novella by compatriot Juan Enrique Gruber, the period (mid-1950s to mid-1970s) tale centers on the eponymous character, an amoral currency exchanger, who winds up laundering some of the dirtiest [...]

  • Send Me to the Clouds

    Film Review: ‘Send Me to the Clouds’

    The social and economic pressures felt by China’s “leftover women” — referring to those older than 26 and unmarried — are examined in “Send Me to the Clouds,” a rewarding dramedy about a 30-ish journalist seeking financial reward and sexual fulfillment after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Bold by mainland standards for presenting a positive [...]

  • Jamie Bell Without Remorse

    Jamie Bell Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jamie Bell is in final negotiations to join Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of the Tom Clancy novel “Without Remorse.” Stefano Sollima, who most recently helmed “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” is directing from a script by “Sicaro” screenwriter Taylor Sheridan. As previously announced, Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known [...]

  • Elizabeth McGovern, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter,

    'Downton Abbey' Movie Sequel? Producers Tease That They Have 'Some Ideas'

    “Downton Abbey” holds the record as the most-nominated international show at the Emmy Awards with 69 nominations and 15 wins — and now, it stands a chance to nab an Oscar. More than three years after the beloved series signed off the air following six critically-acclaimed seasons, “Downton Abbey” is making its big-screen debut. “It [...]

  • Todd Phillips Joaquin Phoenix Joker Movie

    What's Woker Than 'Joker'? Film Critics Made Everything Political at Fall Festivals

    “Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?” asks Joaquin Phoenix, playing a deranged incel version of the DC supervillain in “Joker,” the unconventional comic book movie that’s sucked up much of the air from the fall festival circuit. Like an aggro caricature of the “involuntary celibates” who troll message boards online, [...]

  • Running Against the Wind

    Young Africans' Dreams Are Focus of Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda Oscar Picks

    Films about young Africans trying to fulfill their dreams in the face of war, poverty, tradition and other forms of adversity have been submitted for Oscar consideration by three East African nations. The selections by Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda to compete in the international feature film category reflect the relative youth of filmmaking in the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content