Fox International Inks Production Deal With China’s Huace (EXCLUSIVE)

Fox International Productions has struck a film co-production agreement with China’s Huace Media Group.

FIP is the local-language production arm of 20th Century Fox, and the deal will result in Chinese-language films that are primarily targeted at Chinese audiences.

Huace, which was begun ten years ago as a TV producer, has recently become a major force in film production and is busily assembling an array of international alliances.

The pair say that they are “working closely to identify projects on which to collaborate, including Fox titles from the past catalogue and some new scripts” and will soon announce the first joint productions.

The deal was signed this week at Fox’s studios in Los Angeles.

“What’s important to us is that [Huace] are well-established as creators and great storytellers. To us, finding a partner who knows good storytelling is everything,” said Tomas Jegeus, president of Fox International Productions. “The deal will be for the Chinese market first and foremost. So the priority for us is to make Chinese-language films for China. Second to that will be China-U.S. co-productions.”

“We are very confident to develop this new and long-term relationship with FIP because they have a giant distribution network and original screenplay resources that we find very important to Huace,” said Jon Chiew, head of international film division at Huace.

FIP and Fox have previously been active in China with local film production involvement including “Hot Summer Days” and “Love In Space”. Under a separate six film deal with Bona Film Group, FIP recently delivered the Chinese remake of “Bride Wars.” 21st Century Fox last year sold its investment stake in Bona, but FIP and Bona said that they would continue to co-operate.

The FIP-Huace deal also cements FIP’s local-film foothold in China, which had been loosened by the recent departure of its vastly experienced Greater China head Carrie Wong for Sony.

Huace has struck several deals with international partners. These include those with the U.K.’s Pinewood, a $300 million slate with Los Angeles- and Sydney-based Arclight Films, and South Korea’s CJ Entertainment. Huace also became a major investor in leading Korean indie Next Entertainment World (N.E.W.) which they recently elevated into joint venture production company HUACE&NEW (Huacehexin.)

During this year’s AFM, Huace also signed a contract with Los Angeles- and Beijing-based Sparkstone Entertainment to develop feature films. Sparkstone Entertainment specializes in script development. Huace will develop 3 films with Sparkstone in the next two years, two of which are confirmed to be sci-fi adventure film “Psychosis” and sci-fi action film “Mind Gate” which will be directed by Mauro Borrelli.

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