China, Singapore sign co-pro agreement

Accord comes just over two weeks after similar deal with NZ

BEIJING -- China and Singapore signed a film co-production treaty on Friday, becoming China's fourth such agreement and the second concluded this month.

Vice minister Zhang Pimin of China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and Singapore’s parliamentary secretary for Trade and Industry and Information, Communications and the Arts Sam Tan signed on behalf of their respective countries. The signing took place as part of the 7th China-Singapore Joint Council for Bilateral Co-operation currently being held in Beijing.

The deal covers theatrical feature films and telemovies, across live-action, animation and documentaries. Qualifying films made under the agreement will be eligible for funding and incentives as do productions in their home country, and will similarly qualify as domestic films under censorship regimes in each nation.

SARFT will oversee the agreement on the China side, while the Media Development Authority will supervise it for Singapore.

This is Singapore's fourth co-production treaty, having made similar agreements with Australia, Canada and New Zealand

The agreement comes at a time of record growth in China's film industry. On Wednesday, China announced that total boxoffice gross for the first half of 2010 had reached $714 million, an 86% increase over the first half of 2009, and on pace to shatter 2009's boxoffice take of $909 million.

New Zealand signed its co-production agreement with China on July 7, during a visit by New Zealand prime minister John Key.

France and China signed a co-production treaty in May but so far no films have gone into production under its terms.

Australia and China signed a co-production treaty in 2007 but only one feature has been made under that agreement, “Children of Huang Shi," directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Chow Yun-fat and Jonathan Rhys-Myers.