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CinefestOZ Film Festival

Headquartered in Busselton, CinefestOZ extends to Margaret River and Bunbury for extension premieres, additional screenings and a unique Schools Program.

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China Australia Film Collaboration Event 2015

China Australia Film Collaboration Event 2015

Background: CinéfestOZ is a not-for-profit incorporated organisation that has established strong partnerships with government, sponsors and the community who recognize the value of the event to the cultural fabric of the South West and its contribution to state and national economic growth, tourism and the film industry.

Over the past three years CinéfestOZ programming has included formal and informal China Australia co-productions and has twice held China Australia Discussion Forums as part of its film industry program to broaden Australian film makers understanding of the processes and opportunities available.

For the past 12 months CinéfestOZ has been working in partnership with ScreenWest and the Australia China Business Council (ACBC WA) to build a unique annual event that will forge productive relationships between Australian and Chinese film makers and film financiers.

Together with ScreenWest, representatives of CinéfestOZ traveled to the Ausfilm Australian China Film Industry Forum held in conjunction with Beijing Film Market in April 2015. Personal invitations were offered to appropriate film industry members to attend a film business event in Western Australia in 2015.

What is the purpose of the event?

The China Australia Film Collaboration Event was attended by the China Film Producers Association and representatives of China production companies and film financing companies who met with high-caliber Australian filmmakers.

Panels and key speakers explored knowledge of trends, networks, protocols, government policy, critical pathways, investment drivers and audience expectations for both Australian and China agencies, producers, investors and other film industry professionals.

GOALS: The key outcome being sought is the development of relationships between filmmakers and film financiers in both countries leading to co-productions being undertaken.

These co-productions would be either under a formal treaty or MOU under the framework provided by the Australia China Film Co-Production Treaty or arrangements made between the parties

Foster cultural and creative exchange; allow the risk and cost of film making to be shared and to drive up the quality and output of the film industry.

Good relationships between Australian and China film producers, financiers and government agencies.

Mutual understanding of Australian and China film industries and funding models and exploration of means of interfacing to mutual benefit.

Provision of social events and cultural activities that bring together all those interested in fostering the China Australia relationship. Opportunities for film industry collaboration and investment in Australia and China.

Promotion of the socio-cultural links between Australia and China and strengthen cultural diplomacy ties.


EVENTS HELD: MOU at Parliament House, Perth, Media release issued from ScreenWest, Key dignitaries available for comment including the Hon. What is it? MOU outlining strong relationship between WA and China that will result in working relationships with clear deliverables. What is it? The China Australia Film Collaboration Event was attended by the China Film Producers Association and representatives of China production companies and film financing companies who met with high-caliber Australian filmmakers. Panels and key speakers explored knowledge of trends, networks, protocols, government policy, critical pathways, investment drivers and audience expectations for both Australian and China agencies, producers, investors and other film industry professionals.

Key speakers were: Graeme Mason, Screen Australia Matthew Alderson, Harrison Mourne Michael Werner, Fortissimo Anni Browning, Film Finances, Completion Bonds Matt Deaner, SPA Guests at the 2 day event – from Australian companies: Tim White Owner/Producer Southern Films Pauline Chan Director Producer Dark Room Films Dee Kitcher Producer Filmscope Entertainment Alan Lindsay Managing Director Vue Group Carmelo Musca Director Producer CM Films Productions Ron Saunders Managing Director Beyond Screen Productions Mark Lazarus Head of Creative & Acquisitions ArcLight Joel Pearlman CEO Roadshow Films Domenic Benvenuto Executive Director MARKSX

Chinese guests were: Mr. Wang Fenglin Vice President and Secretary General China Film Producers’ Association Ms .Liang Zhenzhen Director of International Affairs China Film Producers’ Association Ms. An Xiaofen President and Chairman Desen International Media Co., Ltd. Mr. Pang Ming yi President Quingdao Xin Hua Shi Cultural Investment Limited Company Mr.Pang Hong CEO kylin Films


Why create stronger partnerships between Western Australia and China? The worldwide screen industry is undergoing significant and continuous change as a result of new technologies and changing consumer behavior, requiring new ways of doing business. As the State Government agency tasked with developing and supporting the Western Australian screen industry, this has required ScreenWest to address the challenges and support local production companies to seek out and develop international opportunities. In 2009, ScreenWest recognised there was significant growth in the Chinese market and started to look at ways for the local industry to partner with Chinese production companies. The aim was to inject export dollars and finance into the local industry by working with a rapidly expanding market partner, at a time when other segments (especially free-to-air television in the established markets of Australia, UK and US) are decreasing.

ScreenWest works in close partnership with the Department of State Development (DSD) and DSD’s Shanghai Trade and Investment Office in particular. DSD has been a great support in helping ScreenWest to connect Western Australian production companies with companies in China. In addition, DSD provides on-the-ground support to delegations visiting either country, including setting up meetings and providing a translator.

Activities and outcomes so far include: ScreenWest introduced the Vue Group (Bunbury) to the Shanghai Hippo Animation Design Company. In December 2013, the companies signed a contract to develop animated features together.  Two films - Kung Fu Style and Perfect Friends - have been released in China.  Kung Fu Style is currently in cinemas and opened at number one for attendance. ScreenWest provided production investment funding of $200,000 to each, with much of the animation occurring in Bunbury.

Media statement about the signing:

Major Chinese-French co-production feature film Mountains May Depart was partially shot in Bunbury, Mandurah and Perth in February 2015. The film was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

Perth’s Dee Kitcher established Opal Films International, a joint venture with Pauline Chan, to specialise in film productions between Asia and Australia.  The company hope to be announcing soon an official Australia-Chinese co-production, a romantic comedy. ScreenWest is providing production funding.

WA filmmaker Carmelo Musca worked on the Chinese feature film Deep Sleep No More (2013) in China. The film was produced by Mr Jin Zi Cheng who was part of the first Chinese screen delegation to visit Perth. The film had its world premiere at CinefestOZ 2013. Several other WA companies are currently in negotiations with Chinese companies.

ScreenWest hosted two film delegations from China in 2014-15 and five in 2013-14. The delegations met with potential partners and scouted locations. ScreenWest provided a guest speaker at the Australia China Film Industry Forum in China in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

WA producers supported with ScreenWest travel funding and practical assistance to attend key industry markets: Australia China Film Industry Forum 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 (China) Asia Television Forum & Market 2012, 2013 (Singapore) Asian Animation Summit 2013 (Thailand) Beijing Film Festival Market 2015 (China) Broadcast Asia Conference 2014 (Singapore) CCG Expo, Shanghai Animation Market 2013 and 2015 (China) International Animation Fair of Shijiazhuang 2012 (China) Screen Singapore 2012 (Singapore). WA short films screened at Shanghai Cultural Festival 2013. China Film Forum, CinefestOZ 2014 In August 2014, ScreenWest hosted the China Film Forum as part of CinefestOZ. The China screen economy is the fastest growing in the world with its 2013 box office reaching $3.6billion - up a third on 2012. Co-production opportunities with China are much sought after and the forum brought together producers with substantial experience in this sector. Topics included Live Action and Animation in China. It was an excellent opportunity to hear from special guests including, Patrick Frater (Asia Bureau Chief, Variety Magazine), Andre Morgan (Producer, Ruddy Morgan), Pauline Chan (Producer and Director), Mike Gabrawy (Chief Creative Officer – Arclight Films), Chen Jie (Shanghai Toonmax Expo Co. Ltd) and Alan Lindsay (The Vue Group). CinefestOZ 2015 – exciting plans to be announced soon.

Advantages of making productions in WA for Chinese companies: Supportive Government agencies Huge variety of cinematic locations Great weather with long periods of clear blue skies Ability to double for other locations Highly skilled, professional local crew and creative Easily accessible for China, Singapore and other parts of Asia. The state shares time zones with 60% of the world’s population including Beijing, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Singapore and Taipei WA is the closest and most accessible Australian capital city to the world’s most dynamic economic growth regions Is Europe, Asia & Africa’s gateway to Australia. Well serviced by international airlines


-Taken from official CinefestOZ press release-

-Edited by Vanessa McMahon-

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