China’s Wanda Launches Qingdao Film Festival

Cinema giant readies festival and film industry park.

Dalian Wanda Group, China’s largest cinema group, has hired Stephen Mensch as CEO of its Oriental Movie Industrial Park in Qingdao.

Rose Kuo, former AFI festival head, was appointed CEO of the company’s proposed Qingdao International Film Festival.

The Qingdao International Film Festival is set to launch in late 2017. Wanda, which owns cinemas throughout China and is the largest shareholder in North American cinema circuit AMC, says it will be “a first class international film festival and serve as a bridge between Eastern and Western filmmaking cultures.”

The news was announced by Hawk Koch, president of the Producers Guild of America (PGA) and special advisor to Wanda.

Mensch served as the director of strategic production partnerships and studio operations at Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the one of the founders of Georgia Production Partnerships (GPP) and began his career in entertainment as the GM and VP of sales and marketing for Feature Systems production equipment.

Kuo was the executive director of Film Society of Lincoln Center, which presents the New York Film Festival, and the artistic director of Los Angeles’ AFI FEST.

Wanda unveiled outline plans for the film-themed complex in September last year at a ceremony (pictured) which included Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman, John Travolta and Zhang Ziyi.

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