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IMAX’s China subsidiary and China Media Capital (CMC) announced a 10-movie fund at the Shanghai Film Festival on Tuesday.
The newly created IMAX China Film Fund will initially be capitalized at $50 million, the two companies said, and will focus on producing a minimum of 10 Mandarin-language tentpole films that can fully leverage IMAX technology. There would be an emphasis on producing blockbusters created by high-profile filmmakers.
Both companies said the aim of the fund would be to provide new digital content to theaters throughout China, as well as select theaters in IMAX’s global network. Operating under an IMAX-CMC greenlight committee, the new fund will set aside between $3 million and $7 million per film. A statement from the companies also said the fund is intended to support an existing slate of successful Chinese IMAX products, including such past titles as The Monkey King and Dragon Blade.
In a keynote address at the Shanghai Film Festival, IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond said: “For more than a decade, IMAX has strived to be and continues to work toward being a part of the Chinese entertainment ecosystem. This fund is the next step in that evolution, as it allows us to join with our good partner CMC and work closely with the country’s top filmmakers to bring to Chinese audiences and to export to international audiences top-quality Mandarin content.”
Ruigang Li, chairman of CMC, said: “CMC has witnessed, and been part of, the exciting development of China’s film industry through this most dynamic time with a series of strategic investments. We are determined to continue this effort, and we believe that by teaming up with our partners such as IMAX, which has world-class industry-leading technology and an extensive global network, we will be able to create a technology-driven force that is unique and immensely helpful to China films’ realizing their full potential in the global market.”
The partnership between IMAX and CMC follows the latter purchasing a 10 percent stake in IMAX China in 2014.
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