China's DMG to Shoot CCTV Drama in Seattle
China's DMG Entertainment has reached an agreement with Washington FilmWorks to develop, produce and shoot a Chinese-language TV drama on location in Seattle.
The memorandum of understanding signed by the two companies was part of a collection of trade agreements reached by China and Bellevue, Washington mayor Conrad Lee and representatives of Washington governor Jay Inslee.
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The as-of-yet-untitled drama is planned to begin production in early 2014. DMG says the show will "follow the lives and loves of a group of Chinese nationals as they leap through the hurdles of modern American life."
It is set to air in China on state broadcaster CCTV, the largest TV network in China, reaching an estimated audience of over 1.2 billion people in the country and across the Chinese-speaking world.
"The support from Washington FilmWorks and Governor Inslee's office has been great and is a clear indication of the future of this collaboration. We are really looking forward to working with WFW and the many talented TV production crews in Washington for the upcoming show and beyond," said Dan Mintz, CEO and co-founder of DMG Entertainment. "The Seattle area boasts a highly diverse cultural make-up and that includes a lot of Chinese and Asian communities, which makes it a perfect place to set the show."
Washington FilmWorks is a legislatively commissioned nonprofit that manages Washington State's film incentive programs. Its mission is to encourage growth in the state's film and TV production industry. It offers productions various support, from location scouting to financial incentives, to attract projects to the region.
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"China represents a major trading partner for a wide range of Washington State industries; the agreements signed today with Chinese film and technology companies, like DMG, will be the foundation of our shared economic success," stated Washington Governor Jay Inslee. "I'm excited to see the great programs that come out of this."
Beijing-based DMG is best known to the entertainment world as the co-producer of movies Iron Man 3 and Looper, along with Chinese hits Founding of a Republic and Go LaLa Go. The new drama is part of the company's recent push into TV production for Chinese and international markets.
The deal with Washington state follows DMG's activities over the years to build relationships with U.S. municipal, state and federal agencies. Several times a year, the company hosts congressional delegations in Beijing through a partnership with the U.S.-Asia Institute. DMG says it has also played host to American mayors, business leaders and trade organizations.
"We are focused on two primary markets -- the U.S. and China," added Mintz. "So we are frequently looking for ways to aid the U.S. government along with American cities and states in their search for strong Chinese private and public sector partners to encourage increased trade and other business opportunities."