Cre­ative in­cu­ba­tor to dis­play tech savvy at Hol­ly­wood fes­ti­val

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - Wil­liam Hen­nelly Con­tact the writer at williamhen­nelly@ chi­nadai­

Han­hai Stu­dio is look­ing to bring a lit­tle Sil­i­con Val­ley to Hol­ly­wood. The cre­ative pro­duc­tion and tech­nol­ogy in­cu­ba­tor and the Los An­ge­les Film School will co-host the first Hol­ly­wood En­ter­tain­ment Tech­nol­ogy Fes­ti­val (HETF) on Dec 1 at the film school.

Han­hai is a joint ven­ture of Bei­jing’s Han­hai Zhiye In­vest­ment Man­age­ment Group, Xin­hua Mo­bile TV and Ts­inghua Univer­sity Plan­ning and De­sign In­sti­tute for Cre­ative In­dus­tries.

Es­tab­lished in Jan­uary 2015, Han­hai pro­vides a plat­form be­tween Chi­nese cre­ative pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies and Hol­ly­wood through train­ing, in­cu­ba­tion and in­vest­ment.

The stu­dio oc­cu­pies 80,000 square feet in Bur­bank, Cal­i­for­nia, close to Warner Bros, Dis­ney, Uni­ver­sal and The Car­toon Net­work. The com­pany brings to­gether Chi­nese and Amer­i­can cre­ative pro­duc­tion and tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies to col­lab­o­rate on pro­duc­tion, an­i­ma­tion and tech­nolo­gies.

“The de­vel­op­ment of the Chi­nese film in­dus­try and the tremen­dous in­ter­est in en­ter­tain­ment and tech­nol­ogy ac­qui­si­tion have ac­cel­er­ated the mar­ket needs for cre­ative pro­duc­tion and tech­nol­ogy in­cu­ba­tion,” Wang Han­guang, chair­man of Han­hai In­ter­na­tional and Han­hai Stu­dio, told China Daily via email.

“It’s such a good phe­nom­e­non that both coun­tries are com­ing to­gether to work on projects and learn from each other’s cul­ture and films,” he said.

Kelly Zhang, Han­hai chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, said the in­cu­ba­tion cen­ter is fo­cused on three core busi­nesses: train­ing, project de­vel­op­ment and startup in­vest­ment.

She said the fes­ti­val will look “to con­nect the best re­sources across the border in en­ter­tain­ment tech­nol­ogy, which has never been done be­fore”.

“The ties be­tween Hol­ly­wood and China are ex­pected to grow in the fu­ture, and the Los An­ge­les Film School is look­ing for­ward to fu­ture cross-cul­tural col­lab­o­ra­tions,” said Diana Derycz-Kessler, pres­i­dent and CEO of the school.

More than 200 pre­s­e­lected star­tups will com­pete to win equity in­vest­ments at the fes­ti­val. Each startup will have the chance to pitch judges and in­vestors from China and the US live on stage. The top three win­ners will re­ceive $100,000, $50,000 and $30,000, re­spec­tively, of equity in­vest­ment af­ter the com­pe­ti­tion.

Zhang said the com­pe­ti­tion will fea­ture “many young movers and shak­ers in the in­dus­try, some are Chi­nese, some are Amer­i­cans; it’s ex­cit­ing to see them uti­liz­ing our in­cu­ba­tion plat­form to reach out and con­nect with ven­ture cap­i­tal in­vest­ment and each other”.

Jian Liu, Chi­nese con­sul gen­eral in Los An­ge­les, and Bur­bank Mayor Jess Tala­mante will speak at the open­ing cer­e­mony.

Key­note speak­ers sched­uled are Zvi Green­stein, gen­eral manger of Nvidia; Max Ep­stein, vice-pres­i­dent of con­tent strat­egy at DMG En­ter­tain­ment; Hong Mei, chair­man of the In­ter­na­tional Film Al­liance and pres­i­dent of the Greater China for Canada Global Me­dia In­vest­ment Inc; and Ben­nett Pozil, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of East West Bank.

China has be­come the world’s se­cond largest box of­fice, and it’s ex­pected to sur­pass the US by as early as 2018.

The coun­try is also ex­pand­ing its in­vest­ments in en­ter­tain­ment and deep­en­ing its busi­ness ties with Hol­ly­wood and the Amer­i­can film mar­ket, as ev­i­denced by Wang Jian­lin’s Dalian Wanda Group’s re­cent 40 per­cent sub­sidy of­fers to Hol­ly­wood stu­dios if they film on his Qing­dao lot.

Wang has spent $4 bil­lion buy­ing Hol­ly­wood hold­ings alone this year, in­clud­ing Dick Clark Pro­duc­tions, pro­ducer of the Golden Globe Awards.

Wanda also owns the AMC En­ter­tain­ment theater chain, which on Nov 15 re­ceived ap­proval from Carmike Cin­e­mas Inc share­hold­ers for its ac­qui­si­tion by AMC. While the deal still must be ap­proved by the US Jus­tice De­part­ment, AMC is now the world’s largest theater chain.

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