Beijing/Los Angeles, April 30th, 2012: Bruno Wu’s Seven Stars Entertainment and the Government of the Binhai New Area, Tianjin, today announced the establishment of the “Chinawood Global Services Base”, the largest filmed entertainment and media hub in China. Targeted at the US led Global industry, with an investment of over US$1.27billion/RMB 8billion across an area of eight hundred thousand square meters, “Chinawood” will be the headquarters for a large number of financial, technical and creative companies involved in the Global media world. Significantly, with around 35% of the investment earmarked for film financing, it will play a major role as a base for Chinese co-productions with North America, Europe and other countries across the Asia Pacific. The initial build comprising of 35,000 square meters of offices is nearing completion and will open in October 2012.
“Chinawood” will dramatically benefit Chinese co-productions but, equally, US production partners as recognised co-productions between the two are exempt from Chinese import quotas (currently 34 per annum), opening up the market to US filmmakers, whilst also building up a global infrastructure and opportunities for Chinese filmmakers, talent and financiers eager to invest in mainstream, commercial and tent-pole movies.
Co-productions receive a far greater share of the Chinese box-office than do the films qualifying under the import quota, at circa 41%-$44% instead of only up to 25%.
In what will be a magnet for media companies from the world’s two biggest film markets and beyond, “Chinawood” already has commitment from Bruno Wu’s Seven Stars Film Studios (SSFS) and Harvest Seven Stars Media Private Equity (HSSMPE) to have operational offices within the complex. Following an extensive feasibility study, discussions have already commenced with a number of other companies from around the globe.
Located outside of Beijing, Beitang, which is part of the Binhai New Area, Tianjin, “Chinawood” will offer four functions to the Global industry:
1. Co-production Film Financing Platform – HSSMPE is tasked with financing joint-ventures and bringing outside funds to “Chinawood” for global tentpole and independent films, adding a Credit Guarantee Fund to its existing one.
2. Co-production Service Center – For the provision of one-stop shop production facilities, including cutting edge post-production.
3. A dedicated center specifically for the conversion of filmed entertainment to 3D.
4. Distribution and Marketing Service Center – For facilitating film distribution in China through all media platforms and overall marketing services.
Bruno Wu said, “With the East Asia film market on course to be worth $10billion by 2015, of which China will account for 50%, and rapidly catching up to North America, it is crucial, as well as inevitable, that we offer the products and services to facilitate substantial cooperation between the two territories. This project is a significant step towards closing that gap by providing expertise and facilities in all areas of financing, legal, co-production, distribution, marketing, sales and infrastructure.”
This announcement closely follows the launch of $800 million Harvest Seven Stars Media Private Equity Group (HSSMPEG) in February 2012; 50% owned by Seven Stars Entertainment, the parent company of Seven Stars Film Studios (SSFS) which is responsible for content development.
The third largest city in China by area, Tianjin is one of four metropolis governed by central government. The nominal GDP of Tianjin was approximately CNY 1.1 trillion (USD 177.6 billion) in 2011, a year-on-year increase of 16.4% and CNY 911 billion (USD140 billion) in 2010 with an increase of 17.4%.
Tianjin is divided into the old city and the Binhai New Area is a designated growth area, maintaining an annual growth rate of nearly 30% of the GDP. As of the end of 2010, 285 Fortune Global 500 companies had established offices in Binhai. It is a base of China’s advanced industry, financial reform, and innovation initiative with Rockefeller, Tishman, Speyer, Motorola and Airbus already having a major presence.
About Bruno Wu’s Seven Stars Film Studios
Seven Stars Film Studios (SSFS), a subsidiary of Bruno Wu’s Seven Stars Entertainment (SSE), is responsible for Harvest Seven Stars Media Private Equity Group’s (HSSMPEG) content development through a number of filmmaker deals and individual film investments. SSE owns 50% of HSSMPEG and it will potentially license content to HSSMPEG for its marketing and distribution platform.
SSFS recently announced two joint ventures utilizing HSSMPEG’s distribution platform; Director Justin Lin’s ‘Perfect Storm Entertainment’ and Financier/Producer Jake Ebert’s ‘Allied Productions East’. Perfect Storm Entertainment focuses on developing and producing, as well as financing a wide cross section of films for an international audience, with special attention given to finding projects suitable as Chinese co-productions. Allied Productions East develops and finances content in the Asian market for an Asian audience, their first project ‘MISSION BOYS’, written by Erin Cressida Wilson (‘SECRETARY’) is currently in development.