Sony Pictures Entertainment Launches China Writers Initiative

“It’s critical that the writers we work with both here and in China understand each other’s cultures,” studio chairman Tom Rothman says

Tom Rothman
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Sony Pictures Entertainment announced Tuesday that it is launching a China Writers Initiative for emerging writers in China.

The budding talent will meet with established Hollywood film, television executives and screenwriters to exchange and collaborate on ideas both for Hollywood films as well as Hollywood Chinese co-productions, according to a statement from the studio.

“The screenplay is the foundation of everything we do – it all starts with the writer. So as we look to make great content for global audiences, it’s critical that the writers we work with both here and in China understand each other’s cultures,” Tom Rothman, chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group said at the 6th Annual China International Co-Production Film Screenings.

“That’s the goal of this program — we can support that dialogue by fostering cooperation between writers to receive each other’s perspective, which will benefit Hollywood, Chinese language films, and Chinese co-productions,” he continued.

The new program, developed with Sony Pictures China, will be overseen by the President of Columbia Pictures, Sanford Panitch.

Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO, Motion Picture Association of America, went on to say, “With the launch of the China Writers Initiative, we are pleased to see Sony cooperating with some of the most promising Chinese filmmakers in a program that puts quality screenplays at the focus of potential new co-productions.

“As China continues on its path to become the largest theatrical market in the world, partnerships between Hollywood and China will mutually benefit our two great film industries and economies,” Dodd added.

The new writing initiative comes just weeks after Wang Jianlin, China’s richest man and the founder and CEO of China’s Dalian Wanda Group, visited Los Angeles to unveil more details about Wanda’s 408-acre Qingdao Movie Metropolis, and announce a 40 percent rebate to lure Hollywood productions to China.

Also last month, Wanda and Sony formed a strategic alliance in which the Chinese media giant will invest in select Sony films and help market them in China. Wanda, which owns AMC Theatres, is the world’s biggest movie theater operator.