×

Shanghai: China-Iran Heading Towards Co-Production Treaty

“China has signed co-production agreements with 22 countries. Similar agreements between Iran and China are in the works, and will be signed by the end of this year,” said Miao Xiaotian, GM of the China Film Co-Production Corporation on Monday.

Miao was speaking at the Shanghai International Film Festival, which is hosting a six-title Focus Iran section and panel discussions on deeper co-operation.

Reza Mirkarimi, director of Iran’s Fajr International Film Festival, gave an overview of Iranian film, covering its history and modern operation. One notable segment of the presentation he gave was a segment called “Who Calls the Shots,” in which he explained the organizations and government bodies that oversee the Iranian industry. At the top of the list is the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance — the common acknowledgement of the need for censorship may be the ideological foundation of a China-Iran co-production relationship.

“China and Iran share so much in common when it comes to their social ecology and creative ecology,” said film director Jiang Haiyang. Wang Yibing, CEO of Dirty Monkey Films Group, said that, “China and Iran’s film industries share a passion for realist topics,” adding: “Each country’s complicated social structure and large population provide fertile soil for creativity.” Wang’s company produced the social-realist drama “Dying to Survive” in 2018, which enjoyed widespread critical and commercial success.

“Governments can work to promote the cooperation between countries, but the implementation should be done by filmmakers. Filmmakers need to have more dialogue. Maybe a movie on children’s topics can be a starting point of our collaboration,” said Kamyar Mohsenin, the Fajr festival’s manager of international relations.

That was a reference to box office dark horse “Capernaum,” a Lebanese film which debuted in Cannes last year and was a theatrical sensation in China. “Its China box office totaled four times what it earned in the rest of the world — Iranian movies can do that too in China,” said Wang.

“Remakes are a form of collaboration,” Wang said. “We’ve been contacted by several overseas companies regarding a remake of ‘Dying to Survive.’ A remake isn’t a commercial trick, especially when it comes to realistic themes. The content can reflect each country’s unique characteristics, showcasing even more clearly cultural differences, and delivering cultural significance that is much bigger than the market value.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Evolution

    ‘Deep’ Animation Studio The Thinklab to Relocate to Navarre for Future Projects

    SAN SEBASTIAN — Spain’s The Thinklab, based in Madrid since its founding in 2006, has confirmed to Variety that it will be packing up its digital paintbrushes and heading north to founder Julio Soto’s homeland of Navarre where the company will establish a new studio for the purposes of producing two feature-length CGI animated films, and possibly [...]

  • Johnnie To Quits Taiwan Golden Horse

    Johnnie To Quits Golden Horse Awards as China Builds Pressure

    Leading Hong Kong film maker Johnnie To has dropped out of the Golden Horse Awards, where he was set to be president of the jury deciding the prize winners. The awards, which take place and are organized from Taiwan, have long been considered the most prestigious prized in Chinese-language cinema. However they are currently under [...]

  • Zeroville

    Film Review: 'Zeroville'

    I’m tired of hearing how some novels are “impossible to adapt.” Balderdash! Just because some books don’t lend themselves to being translated from page to screen doesn’t mean that the attempt ought not to be made. Just ask James Franco, who’s shown a speed freak’s determination to tackle some of the unlikeliest literary adaptations of [...]

  • Red Penguins review

    Toronto Film Review: 'Red Penguins'

    “Red Penguins” is a cautionary tale with particular resonance in the context of our current bizarre intertwining with Russia, the country that interfered in the last U.S. presidential election and is led by the POTUS’ apparent BFF. This wild tale of attempted transnational commerce just after the demise of the USSR in the 1990s chronicles [...]

  • Danny Ramirez'On My Block' TV show

    Danny Ramirez to Star in Film Adaptation of 'Root Letter' Video Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    An English-language film adaptation of Japanese video game “Root Letter,” starring Danny Ramirez, is in production in the U.S. through Akatsuki Entertainment USA. Besides Ramirez (“Top Gun: Maverick,” “Assassination Nation”), the film stars Keana Marie (“Huge in France,” “Live in Pieces”) and Lydia Hearst (“The Haunting of Sharon Tate,” “Z Nation”). With a screenplay by [...]

  • Screen writer Beau WillimonMary Queen of

    Beau Willimon Re-Elected as President of Writers Guild of America East

    Beau Willimon, the playwright and showrunner who launched Netflix’s “House of Cards,” has been re-elected without opposition to a two-year term as president of the Writers Guild of America East. Willimon also ran unopposed in 2017 to succeed Michael Winship. Kathy McGee was elected to the vice president slot over Phil Pilato. Secretary-treasurer Bob Schneider [...]

  • Running With the Devil review

    Film Review: 'Running With the Devil'

    A retired Navy SEAL who for a time was a military advisor on the Colombian drug trade, Jason Cabell conceived his first solo feature as writer-director to tell the story of that particular commerce “from the point of view of the drugs.” The result isn’t exactly a docudrama indictment like “Traffic,” a thriller a la [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content