An official state visit by a country's leader is a momentous occasion and an opportunity to expand mutually beneficial relationships. China Film Week played to an enthusiastic reception in Washington, DC during the official state visit of China's president Xi Jinping.
Jiaflix co-founder and president Marc Ganis attended a gala event kicking off China Film Week as well as a private pre-event reception. The guest list was a who's who of US and Chinese film executives and regulators including:
The goal of China Film Week is to strengthen ties between the US and Chinese film industries. The events are cosponsored by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), and leaders of both associations spoke about the power of film in shaping cross-border cooperation.
"Working together, we can help develop the next generation of great global filmmakers, ready to share their talents and stories with the world and to shape the future of cinema for decades to come,"; explained Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO, MPAA. "Together with our Chinese partners, we are creating unique stories that entertain and appeal to global audiences.";
"On this joyous occasion of the state visit paid by H.E. President Xi Jinping, I believe that the China Film Week will provide new opportunities and impetus for further deepening and expanding the Chinese-American cinema culture exchange,"; said SAPPRFT Director General Cai Fuchao. "Through the bridge of cinema, the two peoples of China and US can better understand each other and enjoy [a] deeper friendship."
The gala included a screening of the film "Go Away Mr. Tumor,"; starring Bai Baihe, about a woman fighting cancer with optimism and courage. Four other Chinese films screened throughout the week and numerous panel discussions were held.
As China pins its hopes on big-budget theatrical releases, the addition of screens and the growth of streaming, the future is also built on homegrown films with smaller budgets and young talent.
Each year Jiaflix partner China Movie Channel recognizes up-and-coming directors and actors at the Shanghai Film Festival with the China Movie Channel Media Awards.
Jiaflix President Marc Ganis joined China Movie Channel Chairman Cao Yin and 1905 Vice President Liang Longfei to kick off the China Movie Channel Media Awards ceremony on June 20, 2015.
The big winner in balloting among entertainment reporters was 12 Citizens, which took home five awards including Best Film and Best Director.
Jiaflix co-founder and executive director Kenny Huang visited the set of the upcoming blockbuster Captain America: Civil War as the guest of director Joe Russo.
Recognizing that Iron Man and Captain America—normally allies—have their differences in the film, Huang didn’t take a side and spent time with both: Downey, who plays Iron Man (a.k.a. Tony Stark) and Evans, who plays Captain America (a.k.a. Steve Rogers).
The Marvel Comics epic starring Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr. is being shot at Pinewood Studios in Georgia and various Atlanta locations and will release in May of 2016.
East met West in Cannes, and Jiaflix was in the thick of it. The first ever China Summit at the Cannes film festival showcased the growing importance of the world’s fastest growing entertainment market. China has come of age, as evidenced by the screenings, the panel discussions and the networking of the industry’s top players.
Jiaflix President Marc Ganis spoke on the panel entitled “Video on Demand Opportunities in China.” He shared his insights on creating and monetizing content in a country where an estimated 20 million are currently getting Netflix for free via VPNs.
The three-day summit culminated in a lavish gala that paid homage to Chinese culture with a flair for the dramatic. The evening was punctuated by dancers and a light show, while lanterns twinkled beneath a deep azure sky. China Night was hosted in partnership with China Movie Channel and Champs Lis International. According to Variety’s Patrick Frater, China Night 2015 has turned out to be “one of the most classy and enjoyable of the big set piece soirees so far this Cannes.”
Indeed, it was a fitting “coming out” for China at the world’s preeminent film festival.
Photos: Jiaflix/Marché du Film
Nearly 900 films exhibited at 35 cinemas throughout Shanghai during SIFF, but only one earned the right to close the festival.Transformers: Age of Extinction was shown on the closing night of the festival amid great fanfare. Stars Mark Wahlberg and Li Bingbing joined director Michael Bay, Paramount’s Rob Moore and Jiaflix executives for the star-studded event and did their turn on the red carpet.
Stephen Cremin, publisher Film Business Asia, told the New York Times, “SIFF is important because it’s the only festival in the world that screens the breadth of contemporary mainland cinema. It has regularly embraced new filmmakers from Greater China that haven’t yet participated at regional project markets. And, of course, there's real money in China.”
Sometimes it pays to think beyond the cast when building a creative marketing strategy.
Jiaflix and Paramount took the “other” stars of Transformers: Age of Extinction on a 12-stop tour of China to build excitement leading up to the film’s release.
Fans who grew up playing with scale model versions of the legendary autobots were treated to an eyeful: an up-close look at a life-size Bumblebee (21 feet tall), Optimus Prime (26 feet tall) and Optimus Truck Head (39 feet in length).
The tour, which also featured some of the film’s props and interactive games, started in Beijing June 18th (Qianmen Gate) and concluded in late October at the Western China International Fair in Chengdu. Stops along the way included Xidan Joy City Shopping Mall in Beijing, Daning International Commercial Plaza in Shanghai, Hongxinghai World View in Dalian and Fuzhou’s Baolong City Square. Other cities included Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Xiamen.
Like the reality show from which four actors were selected, this tour was more than a stunt but a thoughtful strategy to generate demand and whet the nation’s appetite for the next big blockbuster.
It was the most highly anticipated movie event in China’s history. Transformers: Age of Extinction burst onto the scene with premieres in Shanghai and Beijing, June 22 and 23, 2014. Paramount exec Rob Moore, director Michael Bay, executives from Jiaflix, China Movie China, 1905 and others were joined by the cast which included Mark Wahlberg, Jack Reynor, Nicola Peltz and Li Bingbing.
Paramount and its China partners pulled out all the stops with a dazzling pair of events complete with red carpet, paparazzi and thousands of adoring fans. T4 made history in a number of ways. Not only would it become the nation’s biggest box office hit at $320 million, but it was also the first film from a major studio to stage its worldwide premiere in China.
China Movie Channel and Jiaflix celebrate several major achievements, including securing exclusive rights to several major studio libraries for streaming and the signing of a cooperative agreement with Paramount to shoot Transformers: Age of Extinction in China—using Chinese actors, stunt players and locations.