Starlight Media, the Hollywood-focused Chinese film financier behind “Crazy Rich Asians,” is to go further in its promotion of filmmaking diversity. It has unveiled details of a $100 million film and talent development fund.
The company’s Stars Collective initiative will support aspiring female and BIPOC filmmakers and creative storytellers. The fund is to be headed by Starlight’s creative executive Jennifer Zhang Juefang.
Stars Collective will support 30-50 emerging filmmakers with a fund of at least $50 million, which may be scaled up to $100 million depending on applications. Of that total, some $5-10 million will be used for development, with the balance earmarked for pre-production and physical production.
Stars Collective will also seek out filmmakers based on their existing work in the marketplace and at film festivals. Invited filmmakers will be asked to submit original properties intended to be produced as feature films.
“Never has there been a better moment to lean into the future of global storytelling, diverse voices crafting, telling and sharing the stories that audiences globally will embrace,” said Starlight CEO Peter Luo. “While progress is being made, the full democratization of filmmaking has yet to be realized in the current system and there are still significant obstacles for emerging filmmakers, so our aim is to provide opportunities for them to break out in a big way.”
Starlight Media and Stars Collective are parts of Hong Kong stock market-listed Starlight Culture Entertainment. The company has film credits including “Midway,” and the upcoming “Marshall.”
The company has preferential deals in place with established filmmakers including Robert Zemeckis, Sam Raimi, Sylvester Stallone, James Wan, F. Gary Gray, Roland Emmerich, and Jon M. Chu.
It recently revealed that it will be the lead financier of “Golden Empire,” a surreal tale of a Chinese-Mexican drug lord in which action star Donnie Yen and Luo are set as producers. Yen will also star. The company and Yen are also backing COVID-19 documentary feature “Wuhan! Wuhan!,” directed by Yung Chang, and produced by Donna Gigliotti, Diane Moy Quon, and SA Inc.