China Film Group and Telefilm Canada Pact on Possible Film Co-Productions

Courtesy of China Film Group

The 2012 Whistler Film Festival will see selected Canadian scripts pitched to Chinese studios with financing for possible co-productions.

WHISTLER, B.C. – The Canadian government is selecting local movie scripts for Chinese producers to possibly make as official Canada-China co-productions.

Telefilm Canada, the federal government’s film financier, and the China Film Group are behind a Canadian script competition that will see local script synopses collected, chosen and pitched to Chinese studios with production financing at the 2012 Whistler Film Festival.

Chinese producers can then decide whether to come on board to co-produce the scripts with Canadian partners.

“The entire film world is looking for ways to develop relationships with China and this initiative does just that,” Harry Sutherland, chairman the of China Canada Gateway For Film program, which is affiliated with the Whistler Film Festival, said Sunday.

Toronto-based Imax Corp. has a co-production deal with China's Huayi Bros. studio to jointly make and release three movies, starting with Aftershock.

But otherwise Canadian indie producers have mostly made movies in China, rather than co-produce with local partners.

To redress that imbalance, Chinese film delegations have attended Whistler in recent years to learn about the Canadian industry, with the China-Canada script competition the first fruit of that relationship-building.