×

Huanxi Media Strikes Two-Film Deal With Double Berlin Winner Wang Xiaoshuai

Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai poses during
HAYOUNG JEON/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Wang Xiaoshuai, the Chinese film director whose “So Long, My Son” picked up two top prizes at this month’s Berlin Film Festival, has stuck a production deal with expanding media group Huanxi Media.

Huanxi, which is backed by leading Chinese talent Ning Hao and Xu Zheng, obtains priority investment rights to two films or Internet series directed or produced by Wang and his Dongchun Films over the next six years. That includes global distribution and online rights.

Wang, a veteran of 11 feature films, is considered a leading light of the so-called sixth generation of mainland Chinese directors. His filmography includes 2001 breakout “Beijing Bicycle,” 2008 drama “In Love We Trust” and Cannes jury prize winner “Shanghai Dreams.”

His latest film, “So Long, My Son,” tracks the intertwined destinies of two families over 30 years, and illuminates the personal and social impact of China’s economic miracle and the country’s authoritarian rule. In particular, it critiques the painful impact of the now-abandoned one child policy. The film’s lead actor, Wang Jingchun, and lead actress, Yong Mei, both earned Silver Bear prizes in Berlin for their performances.

Huanxi was founded by producer Dong Ping (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) and established itself as a talent-dominated production company. It now counts Wong Kar-wai, Peter Chan Ho-sun and Zhang Yibai as shareholders. It recently delivered $300 million-grossing hit “Crazy Alien” and also produced the “One Second” film by Zhang Yimou that was withdrawn suddenly from the main competition in Berlin.

Through a couple of recent deals, Huanxi is now expanding to become a key player in China’s online video. Significantly, it owns a large amount of its own content.