Wanda beck­ons Hol­ly­wood with hefty sub­sidy

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By AMY HE in New York amyhe@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

Wang Jian­lin, China’s rich­est man, courted Hol­ly­wood’s stu­dios and stars at a gala on Mon­day night, where he was ex­pected to an­nounce a 40 per­cent pro­duc­tion sub­sidy to lure film­mak­ers to his new movie stu­dio in East China.

The 61-year-old bil­lion­aire chair­man of in­ter­na­tional real es­tate firm Dalian Wanda Group was host­ing the in­vi­ta­tion-only gala at the Los An­ge­les County Mu­seum of Art.

Ch­eryl Boone Isaacs, pres­i­dent of the Academy of Mo­tion Pic­ture Arts and Sciences, and Los An­ge­les Mayor Eric Garcetti were ex­pected to be at­tend­ing.

Fund­ing for the sub­sidy would come from Wanda and the re­gional gov­ern­ment in Qing­dao, Shan­dong prov­ince, site of the $8.2 bil­lion stu­dio that is ex­pected to be com­pleted in 2018.

It will ap­ply to mak­ers of films and tele­vi­sion shows. The sub­sidy was first re­ported by The Hol­ly­wood Re­porter last week.

Rental equip­ment, set con­struc­tion and ac­com­mo­da­tions will be el­i­gi­ble for the pro­duc­tion sub­sidy, ac­cord­ing to Reuters.

The sub­sidy “has the po­ten­tial to be game-chang­ing for film and tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tion in China”, said Marc Ga­nis, co-founder of US dis­trib­u­tor Ji­aflix, which does busi­ness in China.

“China has at­tracted non­do­mes­tic movie pro­duc­tions with the in­tent of tap­ping into the Chi­nese box of­fice in a more mean­ing­ful way. But it has at­tracted far less of film and TV pro­duc­tion that is not fo­cused on rev­enues and au­di­ences from China,” he said.

Places like Canada, the UK and sev­eral states in the US are pop­u­lar shoot­ing lo­ca­tions be­cause of shoot­ing in­cen­tives, which have cre­ated ad­di­tional jobs and given tech­ni­cal crews ex­pe­ri­ence, which cre­ates a “sus­tain­able, on­go­ing in­dus­try”, Ga­nis said.

REUTERS

Ac­tress Ni­cole Kid­man shakes hands with fans at a red car­pet event pro­mot­ing Wanda Group’s Ori­en­tal Movie Me­trop­o­lis project in Qing­dao, Shan­dong prov­ince, in this file photo.

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