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Production and movie sales company Arclight Films is launching an initiative, called Chinalight, to encourage official co-productions between Australia and China. The initiative is backed by the Enterprise Program of federal funding agency Screen Australia.

Screenwriters, producers and directors with proposals for Chinese-Australian co-production feature films, will be invited to a script development workshop. They will receive development and co-production guidance and can meet potential Chinese and Australian production partners.

The program is headed by Arclight’s creative executive Jenevieve Chang, an alumnus of Screen Australia’s Developing the Developers program. Her memoir, “The Good Girl of Chinatown,” about growing up in Australia and returning to China as an adult, was recently published by Penguin Random House.

Screen Australia has for several years been encouraging Australian producers and facilities companies to engage more closely with China. The organization sees creative, finance and technical links between the two countries’ film and TV industries and the advantage of working in similar time zones.

“Chinese studios have never been more willing to engage with the West both creatively and commercially, and Australia’s entertainment industry stands to reap huge gains, spearheading a new era of storytelling for global audiences,” said Arclight MD Gary Hamilton in a prepared statement.

Arclight and its affiliate companies have co-financed or sold several of the biggest Chinese film exports of recent years. The company previously handled Kimble Rendall’s Chinese-Australian-Singapore co-venture “Bait 3D,” and is now in post-production on Rendall’s “Guardians of the Tomb.” Starring Li Bingbing, Kellan Lutz, Kelsey Grammer and Chinese popstar Wu Chun, the film was previously known as “The Nest.” It is trumpeted as the biggest budget China-Australia co-production to date.