'Secret' Sino-Russia pact

Countries plan rare TV co-prod'n

From Russia and China, with a love story.

A first-time teaming between Chinese and Russian TV producers was unveiled Tuesday as Beijing Zhongbei TV Art Center and Russian broadcaster Ren TV took the wraps off their $5 million drama "The Warrior's Ultimate Secret."

The co-production, which involves financial investment from both companies, highlights efforts by a delegation of Chinese producers to forge international ties that can carry their industry past the current fervor for Olympics-related content.

That strategy includes banding together at the MIPTV market for the first time as a delegation representing the TV Producers' Association of Beijing, Beijing Zhongbei TV Art Center chairman and national director You Xiaogang said.

The number of Chinese companies exhibiting at MIP this year is up 33% year-over-year, according to figures provided by organizers Reed Midem. This includes the largest-ever delegation from Beijing.

The 24-part "Secret" — a modern drama combining kung fu, suspense, police action and a love story — starts shooting in October, with You directing from scripts by Hu Wei.

The series will be shot in Russia, China and France and is expected to wrap by early next year.

Igor Prokopenko, deputy director general of Ren TV's documentary department, said that the co-production is a "great opportunity to foster a relationship between modern China and Russia."

Broadcast details have not been finalized.