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China’s Huanxi Media Buys Slate of Festival Films (EXCLUSIVE)

China’s Huanxi Media has acquired a slate of recent film titles that played prominently on the international festival circuit and collected multiple prizes.

They include Julian Schnabel’s “At Eternity’s Gate”; Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s “Never Look Away”; Marcus H. Rosenmueller’s “The Keeper”; Ziad Doueiri’s “The Insult”; Andrzej Zulawski’s “Cosmo”; Frederic Tellier’s “Serial Killer 1” from 2017; Dom Lenoir’s 2018 title “Winter Ridge”; and Mina Shum’s “Meditation Park,” starring Sandra Oh.

Huanxi, which is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, is best-known as a producer backed by some of China’s leading talent. Its principal shareholders include directors Ning Hao and Xu Zheng, whose films “Crazy Alien” and “Dying to Survive” it has released in the past year.

However, the company sees its future as a specialist subscription-only video streaming platform. The platform’s lineup is a mix of tiles produced by Huanxi’s own directors and producers, plus curated content.

A company spokesman told Variety that Huanxi had acquired multiple rights categories for the films. That gives Huanxi the option to give theatrical releases to some of the imported titles, though online remains the main focus.

Huanxi’s focus on curated, quality content comes at a time when Chinese film audiences appear to be becoming more interested in international and arthouse titles. In recent months, festival titles “Shoplifters” and “Capernaum” have enjoyed excellent results at the box office.

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