New Zealand-China film productions expected in cinemas
Updated: 2012-01-20 14:25
WELLINGTON - Some of the first Chinese-New Zealand films made since the two countries signed a co-production agreement 18 months ago are expected to hit cinema screens in about a year, an industry insider told Xinhua Friday.
"Several films are in development right now," said Michael Brook, executive manager of Film Auckland, one of the leading organizations helping liaison between the film industries in the two countries.
"It tends to take quite a while for the whole production process, but I expect that we will see something on the screens in a year or so," Brook told Xinhua in an interview.
This week Brook issued a call to New Zealand film makers to pitch project proposals to the China Film Co-production Corporation (CFCC) in Beijing in April.
Selected projects would be announced on March 23, and successful film makers would attend the pitch-and-catch process at a forum during the Beijing International Film Festival.
Brook said the organization was hoping to receive about a dozen projects to pitch.
"We've got a very long and productive relationship with the CFCC -- they came to us and asked us to get the information out."
He declined to comment on specific projects or companies, but he said he was very satisfied with the level of cooperation under the co-production agreement so far.
"The actual work started about two and a half years ago and the treaty was signed 18 months ago at this point films tend to go through a lot of development."
The Film Co-Production Agreement between New Zealand's Ministry for Culture and Heritage and China's Administration for Radio, Film and Television, allows approved joint film projects to gain "official co-production" status.
It was signed during New Zealand Prime Minister John Key's visit to China in July 2010.
"There's a lot of willingness here in New Zealand to do projects with Chinese producers, but it definitely goes both ways," said Brook.
"We've seen a number of Chinese producers who have come down here either for productions or for the APN (Asia-Pacific Producers Network)."
In November last year, the Auckland City Council-run Film Auckland hosted some of the biggest movie names in the Asia- Pacific region during the annual symposium of the APN.
More than 50 of the most senior screen producers, studios and distributors in Asia came to Auckland to connect with New Zealand film makers and to discuss production, co-production, post- production and cross-cultural storytelling.
"We've been setting up meetings between local producers and Chinese producers. It's mostly about making sure there's information exchange," said Brook.
Last year's APN meeting also coincided with the Chinese Film Festival in New Zealand.
Festival organizer Jim He, chairman of the Pacific Culture and Arts Exchange Centre, told Xinhua before it began that one New Zealand company was already working on a script with China's largest film studio company, the Zhejiang-based Hengdian group, but he could not give any details.
He said it was "one of a number of potential co-production projects."
Late last year director Simone Horrocks became the first New Zealand film maker to work with a full Chinese crew and a Mandarin script, when she joined China's Wang Lin as co-director on the film "Unforgettable Love."
However, the film, being produced in south China's Yunnan Province, is not an official co-production.
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