Sony Pictures Launches Film Writers Initiative in China

Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group

The program is designed to foster storytelling collaboration between the world's two largest film markets, the U.S. and China.

Sony Pictures Entertainment on Tuesday unveiled a program designed to bring Hollywood and Chinese screenwriters together to collaborate on the growing storytelling needs of the world's two largest film industries, the U.S. and China.

The new program, dubbed the China Writers Initiative, is designed to foster relationships between Hollywood and Chinese scribes and cultivate ways of working together on content for both Hollywood films and Chinese co-productions.

Developed and overseen by Sanford Panitch, president of Columbia Pictures, the initiative will introduce writers from China to established Hollywood film and television executives and screenwriters. Sony Pictures will select four Chinese writers at a time for a two-week stay in Los Angeles at Sony Pictures Studios with an itinerary of meetings, mutual education, and discussion. The final selection among the candidates will be made by a committee with representatives from Sony Pictures’ Columbia Pictures; Sony Pictures International Productions, China; and China's Film Bureau at the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film & TV.

The program was unveiled by Tom Rothman, chairman of SPE's Motion Picture Group, at the 6th Annual China International Co-Production Film Screenings in Los Angeles.

Commenting on the program, Rothman said, "The screenplay is the foundation of everything we do — it all starts with the writer. So as we look to make great content for global audiences, it's critical that the writers we work with both here and in China understand each other's cultures."

Chris Dodd, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, said in a statement: "As China continues on its path to become the largest theatrical market in the world, partnerships between Hollywood and China will mutually benefit our two great film industries and economies."