Sino-European interactions take centre stage in Beijing

Sino-European interactions take centre stage in Beijing

The lab offered pitching sessions for selected projects, round-table discussion dwelling on hands-on topics such as legal issues concerning co-producing with China, as well as one-to-one-meetings with well-known authors like Sun Xiaohang, screenwriter of Ning Hao's big success Crazy Alien ($310M Chinese b.o.), Cha Muchun, screenwriter of Huang Bo's The Island ($190M Chinese b.o.), Roland Moore, head writer of the Chinese remake of the Channel 4 / AMC drama Humans, veteran producers like former Film France COO Franck Priot from Ghosts City who has line produced Crocodile and Toothpick Bird which is so far the biggest Chinese TV series in France; Sebastian Voss from top German production company Ziegler Film; Claire Luo from state owned 1905 Pictures, production arm of China Film Group; Jay Lin from Gravity Pictures who has produced such blockbusters as U.S.-China coproduction The Meg.

At the centre of many discussions was the diversity of the Chinese public. Isabelle Glachant, founder of production company Chinese Shadows and Chinese representative of UniFrance stated "Chinese audience is definitely changing. Recent successes of such films as Capernaum, Shoplifters, Dying to Survive or Paths of the Soul in China were unthinkable years ago, and reflect the new taste of Chinese audience for quality mainstream and arthouse productions. The golden age of co-production with China will arrive when moviegoers becomes as diverse as in Europe."

 What makes this edition special is that Bridging the Dragon has established collaboration with the new and vibrant of Hainan Island International Film Festival, which has chosen Hidden Under Moss, one of the lab projects from UK co-produced by DIDA Media and Lowkey Films to participate at its H!Action Project Market. The project is about a British Chinese woman who is triggered by the voice of a suicidal caller and traces back to her painful past in China. The project team will be invited to Hainan Island and have the chance to run for up to 6 million RMB of cash prizes (approx. 770.000 €). Mr. Ou Wentao, CEO of Hainan Island International Film Festival said "we are very happy to collaborate with Bridging the Dragon as we are very keen to attract European film professionals to Hainan Island. The project Hidden Under Moss fits our positioning as a festival for commercial genre films. We look forward to welcoming this young and talented team in Hainan!"

Overall, the selected projects are of very high quality this year and participants are extremely enthusiastic working across the two industries.

Dr. Daniel Baur (K5 Film, Germany) - "Bridging The Dragon Lab was an amazing experience. The quality and professionalism of producers and projects was on an extreme high level. Apart from promoting my own project, I found lots of new co-production opportunities and expand my network with reliable partners into the Chinese film industry."

Jasper Moeyaert (Geronimo Film, Belgium) - "Coming from Belgium, it’s really hard to get a grip of the Chinese market. Bridging The Dragon gave us an introduction to the market, to Chinese producers and to other European producers with the same state-of-mind."

Ulrik Bolt (Arena Films, Denmark) - "Bridging the Dragon is for us a fast track to understanding the Chinese film industry and establishing what seems to be lifelong work relations and friendships... "

Ate de Jong (Mulholland Pictures, Netherlands) - "Bridging the Dragon has done more than building a bridge for me. It showed me a new way into filmmaking."

Miira Paasilinna (Annagram, Sweden) - "Thanks to the Sino-European project we have learned about the Chinese film market, made new contacts and got valuable feedback."

Together with Red Bull's production arm Austrian Terra Mater Factual Studios, Bridging the Dragon hosted a Sino-European gathering on the 18th October. European and Chinese professionals who are keen on working across the two markets crowded the gathering. Michael Frenschkowski from Terra Mater Factual Studios highlighted "Terra Mater has been part of the lab which is again really excellent. We made very valuable new contacts and established our previous relationships. We are more confident than before to collaborate with our Chinese partners. Our mission is to produce with Chinese partners for the Chinese market. We are really optimistic."


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