Cinedigm Buys 40 China Lion Movies for Bambu Streaming Launch

Los Angeles-based content aggregator and distributor Cinedigm has signed a non-exclusive licensing deal to screen nearly four dozen movies from China Lion Film Distribution on Bambu, a content-streaming platform focused on Chinese-language content. Bambu is expected to launch by mid-year.

The China Lion titles will be part of Bambu’s launch lineup, and will target North American Gen Z and millennial viewers. The titles include blockbuster “Detective Chinatown”; China’s unlikely selection for 2016’s Oscar race, “Go Away, Mr. Tumor”; well-received comedy “Mr. Donkey”; and the Jackie Chan-starring “Namiya,” among others.

In early December, Cinedigm announced a partnership with China International TV Corp., a subsidiary of state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV), to put more than 500 hours of Chinese TV content on the platform. Titles in that deal included “Nirvana in Fire,” China’s most popular series in 2015; the classic “Journey to the West” series; and CCTV’s popular food documentary series, “A Bite of China.”

Cinedigm has also established a partnership with Youku to distribute 30 Chinese feature films on Bambu, DVD and Blu-Ray disc in North America. It has a content-licensing agreement with Starrise Media to release several of the Chinese company’s productions on the platform. Titles for the latter partnership have not yet been disclosed.

Bill Sondheim, president of Cinedigm Entertainment Group, said the latest China Lion deal “complements” the December deal, which was more TV-focused. “We are particularly pleased that the titles are all subtitled, allowing for the best representation of the original film version,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to adding future China Lion titles as they become available,” said China Lion President and CEO Jiang Yanming. He said that he hopes the partnership would last “for years to come.”

Headquartered in LA and established in 2010, China Lion focuses on distributing Chinese films in North America. It was the first distributor to release major Chinese films day-and-date with China. Huayi Brothers Media Corporation and Bona Film Group both have stakes in the company.

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