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U.S.-China film summit set for Oct. 30

Third annual event will feature panels at UCLA

As Hollywood continues to scratch its collective head on how best to tap into a booming Chinese market, representatives from the China Film Group, DreamWorks Animation and others will meet for the third annual U.S.-China Film Summit and gala dinner Oct. 30.

The Asia Society of Southern California will present the event at UCLA’s Covel Commons. Three panels on how Hollywood and Chinese bizzers can best navigate the East-West filmmaking process will make up the day’s activities.

China Film Group chairman Han Sanping, the recipient of the summit’s China entertainment visionary of the year award, will give the keynote address at the gala dinner. DWA prexy-CFO Lewis Coleman will receive the 2012 U.S. entertainment visionary of the year award.

Panels are “Year in Review in Hollywood-China Relations,” “Globalization of Talent” and “New Wave of China’s Cross-Border Entertainment Investors.” Panelists and moderators include Loeb and Loeb partner Stephen Saltzman, an expert in international talent and project-specific transactions; WME senior VP Philip Button; Orb Media CEO Peter Shiao, who also chairs the summit; and Lifeng Wang, a fund manager with China-based Wuxi Studios.

Many in the U.S. see China as the next gold rush opportunity, but far fewer have figured out how to best take advantage of it.

In September, Chinese conglom Wanda completed its purchase of AMC Entertainment, the second-largest U.S. theater chain. In February, the same month as China relaxed its film and profit-sharing quotas, DWA announced a joint venture to build a $330 million studio in China.

Both deals furthered the perception that Chinese investors are sitting on mountains of cash, just waiting for the right venture to pour it into. But navigating the nebulous world of Chinese regulations and sorting out who has real money and who doesn’t have given even some of Hollywood’s top-ranking execs a headache.

“The Hollywood and Chinese collaborative landscape remains one of the brightest spots in terms of opportunity for the worldwide entertainment industry,” Shiao said in a statement detailing the summit. “It also remains one of the most challenging, interesting and still-evolving relationships. For the benefit of a whole spectrum of professionals on both sides of the Pacific who are committed to getting this relationship right, I am pleased that we are yet again hosting this platform for thought leadership and relationship building.”

Go to Asiasociety.org for more information.

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