China Film Co. and Pegasus Media Group have launched a strategic partnership and $100 million film fund focused on U.S.-China co-productions, the two companies announced Tuesday night in Beverly Hills, California, during a week packed with U.S.-China film events.
The two companies will collaborate on the development and marketing of film and television projects, with a particular focus on U.S.-China co-productions. They will also work to develop a “pan-entertainment video production base” and an online outlet for Chinese films.
China Film and Pegasus have also teamed up with Hong Kong private equity fund Co-High Investment Management on a $100 million fund that will be used for U.S. co-productions, with some specific uses being the financing of intellectual property and payments to writers and talent.
“The China-U.S. Film Co-production Project Development Fund will gain insight from the industrialized development system of U.S. Hollywood film projects, actively seek cooperation with excellent film producers, screenwriters, directors, actors & actresses as well as investment, production, distribution, brokerage, law, insurance and other related agencies in the United States and around the world, and systematically develop and globally operate China-U.S. film co-production projects,” Jiang Ping, China Film’s general manager, said in a statement.
“The investment evaluation criteria of the China-U.S. Film Co-production Project Development Fund are that the film co-production projects must first conform to China’s relevant national policies, the co-produced films can be released in cinemas in the U.S. and worldwide and can also be distributed in the digital way,” Pegasus President Sun Jianjun said in the statement.
Chinese investment in Hollywood has ratcheted up significantly over the last couple years, as studios from Lionsgate to Sony to STX have signed co-financing deals with partners across the Pacific, and major Chinese companies have made splashy Hollywood acquisitions — such as Dalian Wanda Group’s $3.5 billion scoop of Legendary Entertainment. That deal and others have even raised concerns in Washington about undue Chinese influence in American entertainment.
But with scores of Chinese film executives in Los Angeles for events including Tuesday’s U.S.-China Film Summit, Wednesday and Thursday’s U.S, China Film and Television Industry Expo and, of course, the American Film Market, that pipeline is showing little sign of slowing.
State-owned China Film is the Mainland’s leading film distributor with 33 percent market share, thanks to its role in many Hollywood films imported under the communist nation’s revenue sharing policy. Privately-held Pegasus has been producing Chinese entertainment for 23 years.