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Landmark deal secures future of British film in China

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Ratification of film co-production treaty between UK and China

Cinema
Cinema by Leo Hidalgo on Flickr

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has announced the ratification of a landmark film co-production treaty between the UK and China at the GREAT Festival of Creativity.

The deal, which was negotiated for the UK by the British Film Institute (BFI) and China’s Film Bureau and China Film Co-production Corporation, with support from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and UK Trade & Investment in Beijing, was co-signed by Mr. Tong Gang, Vice Minister of SARFT. It will allow qualifying co-productions to access national benefits including sources of finance and an easier distribution route to audiences.

In the UK this includes the Film Tax Relief and the BFI Film Fund, which is the UK’s largest public film fund.

The treaty will mean that all eligible co-productions will be able to be shown in China. Currently China permits only 34 revenue sharing non-domestic titles to be shown in Chinese cinemas each year. As such, many more UK films will be shown to Chinese audiences than current restrictions allow.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“The UK and China are home to two of the biggest and best film industries in the world.

“Together Britain’s creative industries are worth almost £80 billion to our economy, almost three-quarters of a trillion yuan, or about five per cent of the UK’s GDP.

“China has a similar success story to tell. After a period of unprecedented growth, the creative sector here now contributes 3.6 per cent of GDP.

“This treaty is a breakthrough for UK and Chinese production companies.

“It will pave the way for UK producers and their Chinese counterparts to share their creative expertise and make incredible films that will be enjoyed around the world.”

Mr Miao Xiaotian, President of the China Film Co-production Corporation, said:

“The British and Chinese film industries have reason to celebrate the signing of the Sino-UK Film Co-Production Treaty, which is now effective, by the two countries’ governments.

The signing of the Sino-UK Film Co-Production Treaty heralds the start of a new era in collaborative film production between the UK and China. I have reason to believe that it will open the way for broader cooperation between our respective film industries. We can look forward to a future of integrated development and win-win cooperation.”

Amanda Nevill, BFI CEO, said:

“This film Co-Production Treaty represents a hugely significant moment for UK film and opens the door to a relationship with the largest growing film industry in the world, allowing our filmmakers to collaborate with and contribute to this success story. I’m very excited by the opportunities for growth and shared success, both creatively and commercially, that this treaty presents for the UK and China.”

The announcement, made on the second day of the GREAT Festival of Creativity, at the Long Museum, West Bund, Shanghai, China, coincided with the launch of the UK China Year of Cultural Exchange.

Published 3 March 2015