Serenity, Constantin ink TV co-production pact

Partnership will develop content for Taiwanese market

Serenity Media Group, a Chinese venture launched in partnership with distributor China Lion in 2010, has signed an exclusive TV production deal with Germany’s Constantin Film Entertainment, a subsidiary of Constantin Film.

Companies will focus on scripted and unscripted product for the Taiwanese marketplace.

Serenity founder Christie Hsiao hails from Taiwan, and Constantin hopes to take advantage of Serenity’s relationships with television and broadcasting companies there.

“Working with Serenity is one first big step for our expansion in Asia,” Christoph von Issendorff, the head of Constantin’s international division, told Variety.

Issendorff pointed to the company’s recent international expansion into 13 territories, including Poland, England, Spain and Abu Dhabi. The company has acquired a number of formats for those countries, including “The Voice” (Israel and Switzerland), “Top Model” (Croatia and Serbia) and Kitchen Nightmares (Poland, Greece, Croatia and Serbia).

Serenity launched a $150 million film fund last year with coin from China Lion Culture Media Co.

Huayi Bros. and Bona Film Group purchased a 20% stake in China Lion in 2011. Chinese distribs wanted to expand China Lion’s North American operations, including a mandate to participate in co-productions with American filmmakers, which allowed China Lion to partner with Serenity. While that partnership targets pics in the $20 million to $30 million range, it has yet to yield any announced projects.

“Constantin Entertainment’s vision, track record and resources fit with our … vision to develop and produce prolific and commercial projects with global appeal,” Hsaio said in a statement.

With a mandate to expand into emerging territories, Constantin Film has also been busy launching a production label for low-budget films. Company announced the new venture, named Alpenrot, for pics budgeted under $1 million apiece.