Montreal Fest Launches China Film Business Week

Courtesy of China Film Group

Zhang Jingchu stars in China’s highest-grossing domestic release of all time.


The inaugural match-making effort is the latest by Canada to foster a trade in co-productions and distribution opportunities with Chinese partners.

TORONTO – Serge Losique’s Montreal World Film Festival has long featured a heavy Asian cinema presence to support its international focus away from Hollywood.

Now Losique is launching an inaugural China Film Business Week at his upcoming 36th edition to foster co-productions and acquisitions between Chinese and foreign partners.

“The aim is to bring the burgeoning Chinese film industry on a permanent basis to North America,” Losique, founder and president of the Montreal festival, explained.

Giant screen exhibitor Imax, which has a long-standing presence in China, has been able to partner with local producers to make and exhibit blockbuster-scale Chinese films like Aftershock, co-produced with the Huayi Brothers Media film studio.

But elsewhere, Canadian and other indie producers have been hard-pressed to penetrate the fast-growing Chinese film production and exhibition market.

The Whistler Film Festival and Telefilm Canada late last year said they were working with the China Film Group to encourage Canadian filmmakers to work with Chinese producers.

Now the Montreal World Film Festival is getting into the same game, as the China Business Film Week evolves as part of its film market.

“All facets of the Chinese film industry will be in attendance in Montreal – co-production, distribution, acquisition, along with a wide range of representatives of Chinese television and related media,” Losique said.

With Canada on the Pacific Rim, and astride the U.S. market, Chinese film producers have looked to partnerships with Canadians as an entry point into North America, with its film talent and distribution market.

The Montreal World Film Festival is set to run from August 23 to September 3, 2012.