Bruno Wu and Chinese Government to Build Largest Co-Production Facility in Asia

Bruno Wu - P 2012
Da Xiong

The center, which includes access to a new film financing fund, could make it easier for Hollywood studios and independents to make films on the ground in China.

Bruno Wu's Seven Stars Entertainment and the government of the Binhai New Area, Tianjin, have announced ambitious plans for a new facility outside of Beijing that will be dedicated to East-West co-productions.

Chinawood Global Services Base, with an investment of over $12.7 billion, including a new film financing fund, is being touted as China's largest filmed entertainment and media hub. It will cover 800,000 square meters and house a large number of financial, technical and creative companies.

Co-productions can be extremely attractive for Western film companies, since they are exempt from a strict quota limiting the number of outside films allowed into China to 20 a year.

Chinawood's mandate is four-fold: Film financing platform (roughly 35 percent of the $12.7 billion will be set aside for this purpose), co-production service center, a dedicated center for 3D conversion and distribution and marketing services.

 The initial build -- comprising of 35,000 square meters -- is nearing  completion and will be open in October.

"With the East Asia film market on course to be worth $10 billion by 2015 and catch up to North America, it is crucial, as well as inevitable, that we offer the productions and services to facilitate substantial cooperation between the two territories," Wu said.

"This project is a significant step towards closing that gap by providing expertise and facilities in all areas of financing, legal, co-production, distribution, marketing, sales and infrastructure," he continued.

The announcement follows the launch of the $800 million Harvest Seven Stars Media Private Equity Group in February. Seven Stars Entertainment, parent company of Seven Stars Film Studios, has a 50 percent stake in the group.

Seven Stars Film Studios recently struck two separate production joint ventures with filmmaker Justin Lin's Perfect Storm Entertainment and financier/producer Jake Ebert's Allied Productions East.