Cannes' Sino-International Company Meetings bring China closer to the Western film industry
- CANNES 2019: For the fourth year in a row, Bridging the Dragon hosted the networking event during the Marché du Film
For the fourth year in a row, the Sino-European producers association Bridging the Dragon in partnership with the Marché du Film set up the so-called Sino-International Company Meetings during the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, on 19 May. Approximately 25 selected producers from all over the world got the chance to meet their Chinese counterparts in order to build personal relationships and open the chance of future collaboration.
After years of ups and downs in the world's largest film market, the first results of this interaction are becoming visible. The most relevant buzz was the success of BtD distribution company Road Pictures, which - after last year’s success of Hirokazu Kore-eda's Shoplifters - has just achieved an impressive 50M USD in the first three weeks release of Nadine Labaki's Golden Globe and Oscar nominee Capernaum [+see also:
film profile]. It is the clear sign of the growing Chinese market starting to demand more sophisticated and high-quality content which opens up a big opportunity for European producers and arthouse movies. For this reason several of the Chinese companies attending the event and in general the Marché du Film have turned their focus to titles of independent film companies.
Another emerging trend is the interest in remakes following big successes like the remake of Italian blockbuster Perfect Strangers [+see also:
film profile] (more than 80M USD at the Chinese box office). Many European companies have a library of comedies, family films and even high-concept dramas which can be successfully adapted to the taste of the demanding public of the Middle Kingdom.
During the event, several companies also explored the possible collaboration in the field of animation and the use of technical support from European post-production studios or special effect facilities in order to improve the quality of Chinese movies, sometimes at lower costs.
The use of European locations and incentives was the focus for producers like Ghosts City (FR), Ready to Shoot (PT) or Sarke Studio (Georgia) which have good experiences in line producing big Chinese projects in their countries.
Rich in the variety and quality of its participants, the afternoon confirmed that the collaboration with China still offers incredible opportunities for our film professionals. Although in 2018 the tremendous growth of the past years has recently slowed down for various reasons: enforced state control and tightened censorship, increasing prosecution of tax evasion, rising prices of production, the effects of the trade war, etc., nevertheless the total box office and the number of screens (66.000) reached a new record with 4 more screens being built per day.
The next milestone will be the impact of some of the official co-productions soon being completed that will create more confidence in the feasibility of the merging of ideas and resources. Meanwhile initiatives like Bridging the Dragon will continue to further encourage the understanding and the mutual knowledge between the two film communities.
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