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Hanhai Studio to work with Hollywood Film Festival

By Hezi Jiang in New York | China Daily USA | Updated: 2015-09-22 12:59

Hanhai Studio, the first Chinese creative production incubator in the United States, will collaborate with the Hollywood Film Festival (HFF), it was announced this week. Through cross-cultural content production, the goal is to connect talent, investors and audiences between the US and China.

The news came shortly after Hanhai announced another venture, with Monarex Hollywood Corp and the LA Shorts.

To minimize risks for its investors, many likely to be from China in the near future, Hollywood Film Festival established a five-year "HFF 2020 Fund" with the support of the Morgan Stanley Impact Investing Platform and created an accountability board.The fund office is going to be housed in Hanhai Studio's 80,000-square-foot facility in Burbank, California.

"We see frustration on both sides: Hollywood in its ability to finalize deals with China, and China in its ability to connect to Hollywood directly," said Kelly Zhang, chief operating officer of Hanhai Studio.

"We are creating a zero-distance platform through training, incubation and investment, and HFF is providing a foundation to do that with its social impact mission global community of artists, cultural leaders and impact investors."

The mission of HFF is to tell stories that can change the world. "We look for independent films or television or streaming content that has a great social and cultural message to help fuel more dialogues in our culture, especially between countries," said Brad Parks, the festival's CEO and executive producer.

"I spent 15 years living in London, traveling around the world, meeting different cultures, and learned we are all very similar at the end of the day.

"And yet, because of our cultural differences, our nations sometimes have a challenge talking to each other. Film is a great medium to share that global dialogue."

Two China-focused feature films will be shown during this year's festival opening on Sept 23: Angel of Nanjing, a documentary by a Western crew about a Chinese man who prevented more than 300 people from committing suicide from the famous Yangtze River Bridge in Nanjing the past 11 years, and 12 Citizens, a narrative feature directed by Xu Ang from Beijing. Inspired by the famous 12 Angry Men, 12 Citizens tells the story of a Chinese jury in a murder trial.

For Hanhai Studio, all the works of these emerging filmmakers are potential intellectual properties. "We will connect and incubate them from script to screen," said Zhang.

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