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Jeffrey Katzenberg On Hand in Beijing as Oriental DreamWorks Unveils New Project

Jeffrey Katzenberg Governors Awards - H 2013
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Jeffrey Katzenberg

'Tibet Code' is based on a popular Chinese book series that the DreamWorks Animation CEO says could become a blockbuster franchise

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg was on hand in Beijing Friday for a press event to announce the Oriental DreamWorks projectTibet Code.

Based on a wildly popular series of books in China, Tibet chronicles the adventures a two men on the hunt for Buddhist treasures. There are currently eight books in the series, which has been compared to the Harry Potter franchise.

It's notable that Oreintal DreamWorks will produce a project with Tibet in the title since other films dealing with the subject have ran afoul of Chinese censors in the past, specifically the 1997 Brad Pitt starrer Seven Years in Tibet, which was banned in China.

The appearance at the press briefing of Han Sanping, chairman of the powerful China Film Group, means Tibet Code likely won't face any resistance from state authorities. In fact, while Katzenberg observed that the books could become a blockbuster film franchise, Han called the project an opportunity to positively portray Chinese values on the big screen, according to a report in The Wall St. Journal.

Katzenberg is in China for the opening ofThe Croods and attended the Tibetpress conference to show his support for the project, which will be a joint venture between China Film Group, The National Film Fund of China and Oriental DreamWorks.