China's Bank of Beijing has made loans of $14.64m (RMB100m) each to two mainland film companies - Polybona Film Distribution and Enlight Media Group - to fund their production and distribution operations in the coming year.

The bank announced the loans yesterday as part of its 'cultural and creative industry financing products' initiative, which aims to support the capital city's cultural and creative industry. The loans were offered as credit loans for which no guarantee is required.

It marks the first time that a China-based bank has offered one-year loans for film production and distribution for a slate of films rather than individual film projects. In 2005, Huayi Brothers' The Banquet received a $14.64m (RMB100m) loan from Shenzhen Development Bank. Huayi's war drama The Assembly last year received a $7.3m (RMB50m) loan from China Merchants Bank.

Polybona president Yu Dong said the company would use the loan to support production and distribution of nearly 20 films from the second half of 2008 to the first half of 2009. 'The loan is an affirmation of Polybona's credit and profit-making ability. It is also a milestone for the Chinese film industry's bank financing,' Yu said.

Wang Changtian, president of Enlight Media Group, said the company would use its loan for TV programme production and distribution as well as film acquisition and distribution. Wang estimated that in the coming year, the group's film business arm Enlight Films will distribute 15 titles that are either invested in or acquired by Enlight.

The Beijing City government has ear-marked the cultural and creative industry as one of the pillar industries for the city's future economic development.

Bank of Beijing began its financing service for the cultural and creative industry at the beginning of 2008. In May, the bank offered a $14.64m (RMB100m) loan to Huayi Brothers Media for the company's TV drama productions. Up to the end of June, the bank has offered 25 loans totalling $76.13m (RMB520m) to the city's cultural and creative industry.

At yesterday's press conference, apart from the credit loans to the two film companies, Bank of Beijing also offered a loan of $7.9m (RMB54m) to Beijing-based cable TV provider Gehua Cultural Development Group, along with loans to two printing companies.