×

China Film Group denies link to SEC probe

Corruption inquiry roils biz, social network

BEIJING China’s top biz players have rejected speculation about a link between Han Sanping, topper of state film colossus China Film Group, and a Securities and Exchange Commission probe into possible corruption in the way Hollywood does business in the booming Sino market.

A spokesman for the State Administration of Radio, Film and TV said that the group had not heard anything official about the investigation, but a spokesman for China Film Group responded angrily to any suggestions that Han might be involved.

“This is nonsense. We don’t have any response to this speculation. There is nothing to respond to,” CFG spokesman Jiang Defu told sina.com. Jiang later said: “I’ve heard nothing about this, ask whoever told you.”

CFG dominates the biz in China. It controls most productions, the facilities, the talent and it decides who makes what and when, and has a major say as to what Hollywood movies get in and why.

While CFG often acts as a funder in a traditional sense, it will, in many cases, take a stake in a project, which helps smooth the production process, but CFG will not formally buy a percentage of the movie as such. It may be this arrangement that the SEC is looking into.

China’s Weibo, the equivalent of the banned Twitter and sister service to sina.com, has been buzzing with speculation that Han is involved in some way, and it has been mentioned in industry circles.

However, Yuan Wenqiang, distribution manager for imported and exported films at CFG said, “Film distribution is a collective mechanism, it is not possible to have the opportunity for bribery.”

CFG has a stake in most productions being made, either as full producer or executive producer. Han helped direct propaganda epic “Founding of a Republic” and was involved in “Mission: Impossible III” and “The Karate Kid,” which both filmed in China.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Fernando Meirelles The Two Popes

    How Italy Entices Big-Budget Film and TV Projects to Shoot on the Peninsula

    This summer there is lots of action on the Italian peninsula. “No Time to Die, ” the latest James Bond film, is shooting amid cave dwellings in the ancient southern town of Matera, while Christopher Nolan’s latest, “Tenet,” is encamped in Ravello, a jewel overlooking the Amalfi coast. Terrence Malick is in Anzio, a central [...]

  • Thom Zimny, Bruce Springsteen and Martin

    Bruce Springsteen's Director, Thom Zimny, on the Move from 'Broadway' to 'Western Stars'

    Director Thom Zimny is due for a big September: Come Sept. 22, he’ll find out whether he’s winning an Emmy Award for directing “Springsteen on Broadway” for Netflix. Ten days before that, he’ll be at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival to premiere a theatrical feature, “Western Stars,” which he co-directed with his muse and subject, [...]

  • Angel Has Fallen

    Box Office: 'Angel Has Fallen' Flies to $1.5 Million on Thursday Night

    Action movie “Angel Has Fallen” has soared to $1.5 million at 2,600 North American locations in Thursday night previews. Christian drama “Overcomer” took in $775,000 during Thursday night previews at 1,563 locations. “Angel Has Fallen” has been tracking for a debut in the $12 million to $16 million range and will expand to 3,286 sites on [...]

  • Our Mothers Review

    Oscars: Belgium Sends Cannes Prizewinner 'Our Mothers' to International Feature Film Race

    Belgian-Guatemalan director Cesar Diaz’s feature debut, “Our Mothers,” will represent Belgium in the International Feature Film category at the Oscars. Represented in international markets by Pyramide, “Our Mothers” world premiered at Cannes’ Critics Week and won the Golden Camera for best first film. “Our Mothers” is set in today’s Guatemala, a country riveted by the [...]

  • La vaca "The Cow"

    Alfredo Castro, Mia Maestro, Leonor Varela Cast in Francisca Alegria’s Debut (EXCLUSIVE)

    SANTIAGO, Chile  —  The much anticipated feature debut of Chilean Francisca Alegria, renowned for her magical short “And the Whole Sky Fit in the Dead Cow’s Eye,” has firmed up its cast and shooting dates. Argentine thesp Mia Maestro (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn”), Chile’s Leonor Varela (“Dallas,” “Blade 2”), Alfredo Castro (“From Afar,” “Museum”) [...]

  • 210819 Distribusjonsseminar DNF

    Haugesund: Nordic Distribution Panel Analyzes Recent Success Story 'Queen of Hearts'

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  On Wednesday morning, shortly before this year’s New Nordic Films Works in Progress screening was due to begin, a handful of industry veterans sat for a panel that picked up right where last year’s WIP program left off. Presented in collaboration with Europa Distribution, the panel – called “The Value Chain: A [...]

  • L-R Dena Kaplan, Ronny Chieng, Josh

    Rafe Spall Leads Cast of Oscar Nominated Josh Lawson's 'Long Story Short'

    Rafe Spall, whose credits include “The Big Short” and “Shaun of the Dead,” leads the cast of romantic comedy “Long Story Short.” Studiocanal will handle worldwide sales on the film, which starts to shoot on Monday in Sydney, Australia. The movie is written and directed by Josh Lawson, who was Oscar nominated last year for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content