David Bloom is a Deadline contributor.
A Chinese charm offensive led by Beijing bureaucrats rolled into the heart of Hollywood this weekend, with prize money and production support for screenwriters, proffers of future TV and movie project backing and a film “panorama” a couple of weeks hence.
The weekend’s key event was a Saturday night panel at the Beverly Hills Hilton, that slightly faded bastion of Hollywood glitz that is home to the Golden Globes and much else, and hosted by Beijing’s Municipal Office of Cultural Assets and Harvardwood, Harvard University’s alumni group focused on the entertainment industry. Panelists included former Motion Picture Academy President Sid Ganis (he’s now honorary chairman of a Chinese production company), East West Bank exec Bennett Pozil (the bank has financed Chinese co-productions such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero for more than a decade), Tony-winning theatrical producer Darren Bagert and film producers Michael Andreen and Christopher Lee.
All five have done business on both sides of the Pacific, and all repeatedly pushed the point that China is now not only the fast-growing No. 2 film market in the world, it is the world’s biggest TV production market and quickly becoming a strong venue for live theater as well. The question is whether any of that can translate beyond China’s borders to broader international markets. The city of Beijing is courting some American help to reach wider audiences. (more…)