Well-established Chinese TV producer, Shinework Media has launched a feature film division with a high-powered slate of co-production movies.
The slate was unveiled Tuesday in Xi’an, the historic city where the Silk Road International Film Festival is currently being held.
The lineup announcement was complemented by the launch of a film finance fund. The scale of the fund was not immediately confirmed though as this stage it is understood to have received investments from private equity sources, predominantly high net worth individuals.
“The film fund and production company’s slate will be focused on commercial China co-production films that will appeal to the China box office and international markets with budgets ranging from $10 million to $60 million,” the company said in a statement. The model sees Shinework Pictures fully- or co-financing development and then bringing in partners and using the fund for the co-production.
The emphasis on co-productions reflects the core business of Shinework Media and its founder Jonathan Shen. The company is producer of “World Film Report,” the weekly highbrow show on China Movie Channel (CCTV6.) Through the show’s international activities Shen has led outreach activities and been recognized by the United Nations’ World Peace Award and by the French Ministry of Culture.
“Shinework has a long history of introducing Chinese audiences to international culture so we have focused on co-productions to give Chinese films an opportunity to successfully reach international audiences,” said Shen, chairman and CEO of Shinework Pictures.
“China is the focus now for filmmakers worldwide, yet cultural and language barriers have made it challenging to access the Chinese market. Shinework is bridging the East and West to remove these barriers and become the next leading international Chinese film company for co-productions,” Daljit DJ Parmar (“The Lifeguard”,) Shinework Pictures’ VP of international told Variety.
Co-productions will be structured either according to Chinese regulations on co-producing or according to bilateral treaties. In some cases the movies may be the first to use treaties or help the treaties come to fruition. The slate includes the first China-Iran co-production and the first China Kazakhstan co-production.”
Titles include: sci-fi action film based on a Stan Lee character “Monkey Master,” structured as a co-production with India and being co-produced with Cinema Capital Advisory; Canadian animation “Zodiacation” with a script developed by Gerry Swallow (“Ice Age Meltdown”) and Arne Olsen; comedy action film “Way To Shaolin,”being made with Iran’s Farabi Cinema Foundation; drama “Composer” a biopic about Chinese composer, Xian Xing Hai to be made with Kazakhfilm; sports drama “Blades of Steel;” war actioner “Escape Shanghai,” about the WWII race for the first atomic bomb; and sports drama “The Wolf,” about a Chinese soccer player who follows his dream of playing professionally in Brazil.