×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

H’w’d focus on China’s changes

Confabs designed to give bizzers insight

Hollywood will be looking to the East in the coming weeks thanks to two confabs designed to give bizzers’ insights to China’s expanding entertainment market.

UCLA and USC are setting aside their usual Westside-Eastside rivalry this weekend to co-host the free two-day Media and Culture in Contemporary China conference, which includes an appearance by prolific film and TV helmer-producer Zhang Jizhong.

On Nov. 1, the Asia Society Southern California’s Entertainment & Media/Asia Initiative will present a half-day U.S.-China Film Summit at Landmark Theaters in Westwood focusing on the landscape for U.S.-China co-productions, as well as collaborations in marketing and distribution.

The Media and Culture confab is produced by the UCLA-USC Joint East Asian Studies Center, UCLA history professor Andrea Goldman notes that while Zhang is “virtually unknown in the West,” he is “a household name in China due to the popularity of his TV serials,” often based on classic Chinese literature.

Confab organizers have shaped the conference to Zhang’s expertise, featuring discussions on the state of the entertainment industry in China, the recreation of Chinese dynasty classics in film and TV, and the integration of theme parks in China. There will also be a big focus on the impact of China’s growing local film and TV production industry on its popular culture.

“With the rise of the economic power of China now, globalization is moving in a different way,” Goldman says. “Zhang is representative of this new phenomenon of Chinese producer-directors eyeing a global market for their work.”

Friday’s sked at UCLA’s James West Alumni Center will include a keynote from Zhang and a screening of his recent TV production “Journey to the West,” based on the 16th century epic novel. Participants in Friday’s panels include Phoenix Films topper Mike Medavoy, Pandemonium Films prexy Bill Mechanic and Manifest Films head Janet Yang.

The gathering moves to USC’s Annenberg Auditorium on Saturday with an emphasis on theme parks and will include execs from Walt Disney Imagineering. Zhang, who is in the midst of creating a theme park based on China’s Monkey King legend, will close the gathering with a 90-minute Q&A.

Martin Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center at USC’s journalism school, said there’s no question that showbizzers need to have a better understanding of China.

“The Chinese government said they want to double their entertainment sector in the next five years. That offers plenty of opportunities for people who are outside of China to work with people who are inside China,” said Martin Kaplan, director of USC’s Norman Lear Center.

The Asia Society event features two panel seshes — one on finance, the other on creative concerns — featuring bizzers who have made notable inroads in China of late, including Relativity Media’s Ryan Kavanaugh and Dan Mintz of DMG, which is investing in theaters. Also onboard as speakers are Ivy Zhong, general manager of Galloping Horse Prods., former Universal chairman David Linde and producers Tom DeSanto and Dayyan Eng.

More Film

  • Atmosphere91st Annual Academy Awards, Governors Ball

    Inside the 2019 Oscar Parties

    Stars party all around Hollywood before, during, and after the Oscars. Here, Variety hits the town to give you the inside scoop on all the star-studded soirées. Keep checking back throughout the weekend for the latest updates… Variety x Armani Beauty Makeup Artistry Dinner Sunset Tower, Los Angeles, Feb. 20Variety and Giorgio Armani Beauty honored makeup artists Molly [...]

  • 'Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’ Heads

    'Monty Python's Life of Brian' Gets 40th Anniversary Release (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” is heading back into movie theaters to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the classic comedy film. Trafalgar Releasing took the rights to the film last year. The event cinema specialist is planning a 400-screen release on April 18 that will span the U.K. and U.S. as well as territories [...]

  • Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs

    Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs as It Battles With Local Industry

    Yeun Seung-ro has been appointed as CEO of CGV Mars Entertainment, the Korean-owned company that operates Turkey’s largest cinema chain. He replaces Kwak Dong Won, another veteran of the CJ-CGV group. The change of personnel may reflect two ongoing battles within the Turkish film industry. CJ-CGV, which bought Mars for some $650 million in 2016. [...]

  • Woody Allen Developing Next Film With

    Woody Allen Teams With Spain’s Mediapro for Next Film

    MADRID — Woody Allen is re-teaming with Spain’s Mediapro, one of Europe’s biggest independent film-TV companies, to develop his next film with an eye it seems to shooting in Spain. Mediapro co-financed and co-produced two of Allen’s highest-grossing movies, 2008’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” which grossed $96.4 million worldwide, and 2011’s “Midnight in Paris” which earned [...]

  • 'Stitches' Review: Berlin Film Festival

    Berlin Film Review: 'Stitches'

    An elegant hybrid of true-story exposé and slow-moving arthouse thriller, Serbian director Miroslav Terzić’s sober sophomore feature “Stitches” takes a familiar idea — a lone crusader taking on a corrupt system in pursuit of the truth — but delivers an unusually thoughtful, psychologically compelling character study. Taking its cue from Snežana Bogdanović’s eerily composed but fathomless [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content