India's Eros Pacts With Three Chinese Film Entities
The Indian major has signed memorandums with state-owned entities Chinese Film Corp., Shanghai Film Group and Fudan University.
Indian film entity Eros International announced its association with three major Chinese state-owned film and entertainment entities to promote, co-produce and distribute Indo-China films across all platforms in both countries. The memorandums of understanding “outline the prospective co-production and distribution of Sino-Indian films” and have been signed with Chinese Film Corp., Shanghai Film Group and Fudan University in Shanghai.
The MoUs were signed by Eros managing director Sunil Lulla at the recently concluded strategic partnership meeting in Shanghai between Chinese president Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter's state visit to China.
As reported earlier, Eros announced its first India-China co-production Tang Xuan Zang with CFC. Based on the story of the Chinese monk who is credited with having first brought Buddhism to China from India, the film stars popular Chinese actor Huang Xiaoming (The Message, Ip Man 2) and will be directed by Huo Jianq (A Time to Love).
“We are pleased to be partnering with Eros on this landmark agreement,” said CFC chairman La Peikang. “The co-production of our first film, Tang Xuan Zang, is an exciting initial step and we look forward to collaborating on future compelling film opportunities that will appeal to the vast Sino-Indian market.”
The collaboration with the Shanghai Film Group Corporation will allow for the exploitation of intellectual property rights owned by both companies in their respective markets as well as the development, co-production and distribution of film projects in both India and China.
“With a growing population between the two countries of 2.5 billion people and vast similarities in terms of culture, religion and art, we see great potential for further strategic development and growth in both markets,” said Shanghai Film Corporation president Ren Zhonglun.
The association with Fudan University allows Eros to license Fudan’s intellectual properties from its publishing division for remakes or co-productions in India. Fudan will also assist Eros in obtaining publishing licenses for the promotion and distribution of films in the Eros library in China across various platforms. Eros has an extensive library that includes more than 2,300 films titles in Hindi and regional Indian languages. Eros also handled India distribution for the 2013 Indo-Canadian film Dr. Cabbie, which co-starred Big Bang Theory actor Kunal Nayyar.
“We are proud to be partnering with China’s largest and most-respected media companies and look forward to building a leadership position in one of the largest and fastest growing film markets in the world,” added Eros International CEO Jyoti Deshpande.
The Chinese movie market is sized at $4.8 billion, second only to that of the U.S., and grew 34 percent in 2014. By contrast, India's film business touched revenues of $2.1 billion in 2014, registering almost stagnant growth over 2013, according to a report by consultants KPMG India. China's screen count is at 23,600 while India's total screens are estimated at about 10,000, considered one of the world's most under-screened markets.