Next week’s virtual FilMart will mark the market debut for newly-launched Blossoms Entertainment, a film sales agency based in mainland China. Among its available titles, the new outfit will be representing partial rights to Chinese blockbuster “The Eight Hundred.”
Blossoms is owned and headed by Vicky Ding, an executive with sales and distribution experience at Beijing Culture and the now-defunct Hollywood sales and finance group IM Global. She is joined by Leslie Chen, former SVP of Asian sales & distribution at IM Global, who will be senior advisor responsible for strategic planning.
The company aims to straddle film sales and international publicity for Chinese commercial titles. Ding was responsible for sales on one of 2019’s biggest Chinese titles, the ground-breaking sci-fi film “The Wandering Earth” and managed its sale to global streamer Netflix.
Blossoms starts life with an output deal with Chinese studio Huayi, which is expected to guarantee it a supply of prestige titles. Another deal with Alibaba-owned streaming platform Youku covers sales and international distribution of Youku’s web films.
At FilMart, Blossoms will be introducing “Yinyang Master,” adapted from the mobile game “Onmyoji,” and starring Chen Kun and Zhou Xun. The movie is directed by Li Weiran, and is not to be confused with the upcoming two-part film directed by Guo Jingming from the “Onmyoji” novel. It also has “Warm Hug,” a romantic comedy journey of a neat freak, directed by Chang Yuan.
Licensing of “The Eight Hundred” began some two years ago under Huayi’s own sales initiative, and the film will open in several English language territories at the end of the month, a week after its commercial release in China this coming Friday. Blossoms will be handling sales to currently unsold territories including Japan, Hong Kong and India.
Movies made for web premieres were a growing trend in China even before the coronavirus outbreak and the shelter-at-home trend gave the streaming firms a boost. Blossoms will present “The Siping Situation” a recent Youku hit, and it expects to add as many as 15 additional titles per quarter.
“Providing the most professional service, and giving our full effort to the titles we handle is the mission of Blossoms,” said Ding. “We start with a fruitful partnerships with Huayi Brothers, other major studios and agencies, and are now thrilled to dig deeper and serve other Chinese content.”
Exports of Chinese film have plateaued in recent years as producers have focused on the fast-growing internal market. But distributors and sales agents have now found a consistent route to market in North America and parts of Asia through day-and-date releases. And international streaming platforms may provide another outlet.
FilMart, originally scheduled as an in-person rights market in March, will run Aug. 26-29 as an online event. It is hosted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.