U.K. finance house Ingenious Media, which backed last season’s Oscar contenders “Brooklyn” and “Carol,” as well blockbusters “Avatar” and “Life of Pi,” has formed a joint venture with China’s Hejing Culture to produce and co-finance a slate of independent films in a deal worth $200 million.
The deal comes two years after a landmark U.K.-China co-production treaty was signed by U.K. culture minister, Ed Vaizey, and China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television Vice Minister, Tong Gang.
Neil Forster, CEO of Ingenious, said: “Ingenious has developed a reputation as a leading player in the global film and television industry over the last 18 years. The global market for entertainment content is experiencing an exciting period of change — from the seismic shifts in individual consumption patterns to the unprecedented growth in China. Any long-term global growth strategy has to involve an alignment with the right kind of partners, and we couldn’t be more delighted to be working alongside Hejing to continue to bring high-quality entertainment to global audiences.”
Zhang Aiyi, CEO of Hejing Culture, said: “As a leading culture company under the SARFT system, Hejing has played a very important role in saving traditional Chinese culture by editing and republishing some of the most distinguished Chinese books from ancient times. Now that we have collected and have ownership of such important Chinese stories and their associated rights, it’s time to go international and show the world the charm of Chinese content and Chinese story-telling.
“We’re so honoured to launch this program of internationalization by partnering with Ingenious, a wonderful film company with an unbelievable track record. I truly believe we can co-develop some great western and eastern film and TV projects together.”