Fox Partners With China's Tencent to Co-Produce 10 Online Movies
The pact is part of a program to support emerging Chinese film talents and tap the country's growing online youth demographic.
Fox International Productions is bolstering its engagement with China's all-important youth demographic.
The international production arm of 20th Century Fox has partnered with Chinese internet giant Tencent to co-produce 10 Chinese-language, feature-length movies for online distribution in the country.
The projects represent the debut slate of Ivy Film Lab, a sub-brand of the Chinese tech company's expanding film subsidiary, Tencent Pictures. Ivy Film was set up specifically to develop and produce film and TV projects from young Chinese screen talents, targeting a youthful domestic digital audience.
All of the 10 web films — which span genres ranging from suspense and thriller to action, fantasy, romance and comedy — are adaptations of online comic and anime titles native to Tencent's digital publishing platforms. Several of the source works have been viewed millions of times online in China.
Fox International Productions is serving as a sort of production supervisor to the project, weighing in with content-development knowhow and international expertise. For other aspects of the production and release process, Tencent has brought in an array of domestic partners. Chinese company Xinpianchang is handling the actual production of the films, while Sina Entertainment, Bole Pictures and Good Fellow Pictures will provide marketing and promotional services.
All of the movies will then be distributed online by Beijing-based streaming video powerhouse iQiyi. Several of the movies have already begun shooting, with releases planned for the second half of 2017.
"Fox International Productions is very honored to be part of this program and to provide support with talent resources and international experience," said Tomas Jegeus, president of Fox International productions in a statement. "We believe it's just the beginning of even more collaborations with all partners to further explore new models for online content creation and better serve today’s young audiences in China and around the world."
Launched in 2008 to expand Fox's international footprint into local-language production and distribution around the world, FIP has produced and released over 50 local films in 11 countries, including The Wailing in Korea, Miss Bala in Mexico and The Hidden Face in Spain. In Greater China, FIP has produced films like Hot Summer Days, The Swordsman and Bride Wars.
"The Chinese film industry is at an important turning point," said Tencent Pictures CEO Edward Cheng, "with new technology and content that reaches across multiple entertainment platforms."
"Providing opportunities to young talents is about cultivating the future backbone of the industry," he added.