CAA and China's Bona Film Group Establish $150 Million Film Fund

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Yu Dong (left), Roeg Sutherland

The first film financed through the fund is Roland Emmerich's 'Midway,' the biggest deal announced at Cannes so far this year.

CAA has launched a long-term film fund with China's Bona Film Group, starting with an initial $150 million investment.

The fund will be directed to U.S.-China co-productions as well as to Chinese-language films for the local market and English-language films for worldwide. Bona will retain all Chinese distribution rights for movies financed through the fund, while CAA will represent North American and select international rights.

The first pic financed through the fund is Roland Emmerich's World War II drama Midway. Bona's $80 million deal to lead the investment, announced Tuesday, was the largest deal struck at Cannes so far this year. CAA brokered the deal and will represent U.S. rights, while Bona will release in all other territories, including China.

"The fund furthers our goal of producing films that resonate around the world, while simultaneously serving as a bridge between best-in-class creative talent and China's thriving film market," Bona CEO Yu Dong said Thursday in a statement. "CAA's vast resources are an ideal complement to our extensive experience in-market and I look forward to our work together."

This fund represents CAA's first investment vehicle for financing Chinese-language films. The agency launched CAA China last month in partnership with CMC Capital Partners to significantly boost its business involvement in the country.

"With Bona, we have a strategic partner that brings an unmatched level of expertise of the Chinese film distribution landscape and a shared commitment to helping grow the Chinese film market," Roeg Sutherland, head of CAA's global film finance and sales group, said in a statement. "In addition to furthering CAA's film packaging work within China, the fund creates and expands opportunities for the agency's filmmaker and talent clients on a global basis."

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