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TV, movie deal-makers descend on China

By XU FAN | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-05-23 20:53
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China's burgeoning entertainment market has attracted more foreign players seeking partnerships with Chinese companies, according to some industry insiders at a summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Tuesday.

The MIP China Hangzhou International Content Summit, the first event marking the Cannes-based MIP's expansion into Asia, kicked off in the capital of Zhejiang province on Tuesday and will last until May 25.

MIP — or Marche International des Programmes — is a global distribution marketplace for entertainment content in terms of deals and participants. A major event is held in Cannes, France, twice a year — as MipTV in spring, and Mipcom in autumn.

At the three-day Hangzhou event, 40 Chinese companies will have one-on-one meetings with 40 foreign players to talk about potential collaborations, and will offer a series of forums discussing new trends.

More than 350 studio executives and industry insiders from 19 countries and regions — including the United States, France, the United Kingdom, India and Singapore — are participating in Hangzhou.

Ted Baracos, the market development director of Reed MIDEM, the MIP events' French organizer, said the event is a response to the growth of interest in China from international buyers and storytellers.

"People know China is a very big market," Barcos said, adding that they want to know more Chinese content makers and distributors.

Last year, China's movie box office intake hit a new high of 45.7 billion yuan ($6.6 billion), with 334 television dramas and nearly 15,000 episodes produced.

Chinese productions have become more internationalized in recent years, said Anke Redl, the strategy and business development section's director of the Beijing-based China Media Management Inc, MIP's representative in China.

European audiences have taken a liking to some documentaries and animated productions from China, and their taste is shifting to television dramas.

"China has so many historical period dramas, which are about great emperors and big fights. I think most of them are very interesting," Redl said.

Geng Danhao, senior vice-president of the video streaming site iQiyi.com, said he believes the fast rise of Chinese internet users — which has surpassed 700 million — will bring increased demand for quality content.

"Many Chinese love Hollywood movies and television dramas. We are trying to provide them such content," he says.

He said iQiyi has purchased some content from Netflix, the world's leading subscription service, and has been in talks with some US producers.

Ben Silverman, a veteran producer and head of the Los Angeles-based studio Propagate Content, said: "A lot of people from Hollywood want to sell their stories to China."

He added that creating partnerships will be the most effective way for China and foreign players to reach a global audience.

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