×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China’s Taihe Rides with France’s Wild Bunch

Partners create Beijing-based sales-distribution company

PARIS — Taihe Pictures, one of China’s fastest-growing film groups, is joining forces with European mini-major Wild Bunch to create a Beijing-based sales and distribution company.

Aiming to become a leading international sales banner operating from China, the new shingle — named Taihe Wild Bunch — will focus on scouting for Chinese talent; exploiting Wild Bunch’s catalog, including remake rights; and nabbing worldwide distribution rights for Chinese movies with an international potential.

Wild Bunch is well-poised to expand its geographical footprint in China: The company is no stranger to the country’s film biz and has long-standing relationships with the local talent pool, having backed, sold and distributed many Chinese movies over the years.

Wild Bunch co-founder Brahim Chioua co-produced Chen Kaige’s “The Emperor and the Assassin,” the biggest Chinese production at the time, in 1998. Wild Bunch co-chief Vincent Maraval co-produced Lou Ye’s “Purple Butterfly.”

Since its launch, Wild Bunch has sold Chinese movies in international markets, starting with Fruit Chan’s “Durian Durian.”

More recently, Wild Bunch sold Wong Kar Wai’s “The Grand Masters”; and it co-produced and distributed Jean-Jacques Annaud’s “Wolf Totem.” Wild Bunch also sold many of Zhang Yimou’s films, including “Under the Hawthorne Tree.”

“We have been wanting to increase our involvement with the Chinese movie industry for quite a while now, and we feel like we found the right partner, both to develop our ability to expose Chinese movies abroad, and to strengthen our distribution power in China,” Maraval said. “We look forward to supplementary opportunities with our new partner on this very exciting market.”

Chuck Zhang, general manager of Taihe Pictures, said: “The core of the Chinese film industry has limited contact with the international market and that is what we intend to address. We will seek to use international partners and to apply financially sound criteria to create a boutique catalog.”

Wild Bunch had seven films playing at Cannes, including the Palme d’Or winning “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” directed by Abdellatif Kechiche.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • San-Sebastian

    LargoAI Wins Inaugural San Sebastian Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Swiss artificial intelligence and data analytics company LargoAI won Sunday’s first-ever San Sebastian Film Festival Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge. LargoAI’s software provides data-driven filmmaking strategies, similar to those used by major VOD platforms which aggregate and often horde their own user-driven data. From early in the screenwriting process through development and [...]

  • MARIANA-RONDÓN-MARITÉ-UGÁS

    FiGa Snags 'Contactado,' By The Team Behind San Sebastian Winner 'Pelo Malo' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sandro Fiorin’s FiGa Films has picked up worldwide sales rights to “Contactado,” the upcoming feature by Sudaca Films’ Marité Ugás and Mariana Rondón, the duo behind San Sebastian 2013 Golden Shell winner, “Pelo Malo.” The Sudaca partners are attending San Sebastian to pitch Rondón-helmed project “Zafari” at the 8th Europe-Latin American Co-production Forum. Directed by [...]

  • Brad Pitt stars in “Ad Astra”.

    'Ad Astra' Lifts Above Competition at International Box Office With $26 Million

    Though “Ad Astra” was overthrown by the Crawley family at the domestic box office, Brad Pitt’s astronaut drama reigned supreme at the international box office. Directed by James Gray, “Ad Astra” launched overseas with $26 million from 44 foreign markets. The $80 million sci-fi epic debuted in North America with $19.2 million, bringing global box [...]

  • hugh jackman tiff bad education

    Toronto's Biggest Deal Goes to HBO: A Sign of the Future? (Column)

    When it comes to how we’ll be watching movies — or, at least, watching serious dramas for adults — in the future, here are two stark and timely contradictory facts: 1. Last week, as the Toronto International Film Festival drew to a close, a deal that had been in the rumor stage for a while [...]

  • 'Talking About Trees' Helmer Suhaib Gasmelbari

    'Talking About Trees' Director Suhaib Gasmelbari Receives Variety MENA Award

    Suhaib Gasmelbari, whose Sudanese documentary “Talking About Trees” premiered in the Berlinale’s Panorama section, received the Variety Middle East and North Africa Region Talent Award Saturday at the El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt from festival director Intishal Al Timimi. Variety critic Jay Weissberg, who selected the honoree, said that it is not usual that [...]

  • Josefina-Molina

    Josefina Molina: Still Battling After All These Years

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — She isn’t done yet. The battling character of Josefina Molina, winner of Spain’s 2019 National Cinematography Prize, was glimpsed in her acceptance speech at the San Sebastian Festival on Saturday. She used part to thank those who had given crucial help, such as, among women, editors Nieves Martin (1981’s “Función de Noche,” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content