The writing was on the walls this year in Cannes, and the writing was in Mandarin. While the official next big thing at the Marche this year was the promise of virtual reality film making, the real excitement from the producers was a bit more behind the scenes. China has been luring in foreign films with the current second largest, and soon to be largest box office in the world, and this year the Cannes producers took notice.
China day, a hosted series of parties and events focused on bridging the connections between the East and West, was a massive yet quiet success. During the ‘Bridging the Dragon‘ co-production meetings, the Beijing International Film Festival Gala and the infamous China Night held at the Plage Majestic, established and new players from China mingled with westerners over an immaculate spread of food, wine, and excitement.


One of the most interesting newbies to the scene was the China Eden Investment group making their inaugural Cannes week. The first privately held Chinese investment company to participate in Cannes, they are headed up by Ze Long, managing director, and Xin Wang, executive director, and are looking to be one of the largest players in the film industry in the next few years by investing heavily into the entire supply chain of the entertainment industry as well as a heavy focus on international content and VR technologies. At the Marche this year they held several panels and round table discussions regarding everything from the responsibilities of Chinese producers to the official launch of their 200M RMB film fund dedicated to creating HIV and AIDS related films and documentaries.
We caught up with Los Angeles based film producer Jesse Welch, who participated in several of the panel and round table discussions. “I think what they’re doing is really special, there aren’t a lot of funds out there that are so aggressive, yet have such a strong asset management team behind them. The next couple years will certainly be a revelation to a lot of people” He continued “Producers ask me all the time ‘how do I get to work in China? How do I trust them?’ and the first thing I say is ‘How do they trust you?’… The most unique and exciting original stories are all coming out of China and I think they’re finally ready to share them with the world.”
Time will tell what the future holds, but for now it seems the future belongs to the artists and the Chinese.

 

Feature by:

Melanie Buttarazzi

Melanie Buttarazzi

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