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China’s NFC to back The Annihilator

Chinese state-run fund National Film Capital (NFC) has unveiled a slate of ten US-China co-productions, including Stan Lee’s Chinese superhero project The Annihilator.

Also known as China Mainstream, the fund is raising capital from Chinese local governments and private equity investors in China and Hong Kong. The fund is chaired by former China Film Group president Yang Buting. Wang Guowei, who co-founded the Iron Pond film fund in 2005, is president of NFC.

NFC has a similar remit to Iron Pond in that it aims to bridge the gap between China and the international film industry. At a press event at the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF), the fund announced that it intends to raise a total of $300m, of which around $200m will be invested in co-productions. The remaining $100m will be invested in cinema development and film marketing.

NFC partner Xu Xiaofeng, formerly head of Warner Music in Greater China, said the fund is looking at larger projects with global commercial elements – in particular Chinese stories written and directed by filmmakers with Hollywood experience.

Dan Gilroy (The Bourne Legacy) is scripting $100m Chinese superhero project The Annihilator for Stan Lee’s Magic Storm Entertainment. NFC’s slate also includes $80m 3D action fantasy The Dragon’s Scroll, based on comic series Way Of The Rat. Produced by Shimon Arama and to be directed by Charlie Gibson, the project is being set up as a co-production between China, Canada, Spain and France.

Also on the NFC slate are The Silent Flute, the last script written by late action star Bruce Lee, to be co-produced by Beijing-based Heshan Media with Jay Rifkin and Kyle Jackson; Genghis Khan, about the Mongolian warrior written and to be produced by Peter Doyle; English-language fantasy Shrinking, to be directed by Ken Bates, and historical adventure 1421, about 15th century Chinese admiral Zheng He.

The fund has previously invested $3.2m (RMB20m) in the marketing of Painted Skin: The Resurrection, which opened this year’s SIFF.

NFC co-founder Kathy Peng said the fund is raising finance in three tranches - $12.7m (RMB80m), $57m (RMB360m) and $159m (RMB1bn), of which the first two tranches have already been raised.

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