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Australia China Co-production Forum Brings a Closer Industry Relationship

The 2nd Australia China Co-production Forum was held on 22nd November 2016 at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney. Organised by International Chinese Film Festival (ICFF), the Australian Screen Association (ASA), the Motion Picture Association (MPA), China Film Co-production Corporation (CFCC) and China Cultural Centre in Sydney, this year’s Forum attracted nearly 200 participants including producers, directors, production and post-production companies from the film sector in Australia and China.

On behalf of Director Zhao Li of China Cultural Centre in Sydney, Program Manager Ms. Zhang Lili delivered the welcome speech. “As the co-organiser of today’s forum, I am really glad that this year’s forum is able to engage more government departments, bodies and businesses and to focus on more concrete topics of mutual interest”, said Ms. Zhang. 

Ms. Zhang expressed her commendation seeing that co-productions which “highlight Australia’s strengths in technical talents and superior services” have been made possible. She encouraged Australian directors to explore new ways of telling Chinese stories and incorporating Chinese cultural elements in future collaboration, which will bring “new possibilities for co-production between China and Australia”.

The Forum incorporates three panels, with focuses on the status of and trend in Australia China co-production, the Australia Government incentives for co-production, and the new co-production projects introduction respectively. In the first panel “Effective Australia China Collaborations”, Tim Phillips from Screen Australia and producer Mark Lazarus shared their first co-production experience with China on the film Nest, emphasising the importance of partnership and the Chinese market. Ellen Eliasoph, CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures Asia, and producer Paul Currie also joined the session by showcasing the trailer from their latest collaboration with China, Bleeding Steel, and reaffirmed the significance of the Chinese market. 

Representatives from the famous Australian post-production companies Rising Sun Pictures and Spectrum Films joined Debra Richards, CEO of Ausfilm in the second panel on the Australian government incentives for film co-production, discussing the advantages of visual effects and post-production sector in Australia, and how to maximise the tax offsets offered by the Australian government, with the hope to explore further collaboration opportunities with the Chinese screen industry.

Another area of focus during this Forum was the co-production projects introduction. Representatives from four co-production projects shared their creative concepts and production plans, seeking investments and collaboration opportunities with Australian and Chinese investors and film makers. 

The renowned Chinese-Australian director, Pauline Chen, VP and Head of Greater China of MPA, William Feng, Deputy Director of Co-production Department of CFCC, Wu Yue, and CEO of China Lion Entertainment, Jiang Yanming also joined the panel discussion, analysing the Chinese film market and online video platforms, and providing insights into the promising collaboration opportunities between Australia and China.

This year’s Forum was supported by Ausfilm, Fox Studios Australia, Village Roadshow Pictures Asia, Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty, and Screen NSW in association with Screen Australia. 

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