China’s Bank of Hangzhou announced $14.73m (RMB100m) loan to Beijing-based film investment and production firm LeTV Pictures on the company’s film investment projects in the coming year.
Following the example of Bank of Beijing, Bank of Hangzhou becomes a second bank in China providing loans for a bundle of films instead of individual film projects. In late 2008, Bank of Beijing offered $14.64m loan each to major private studios Huayi Brothers Media and Enlight Media Group for film and TV production and distribution. LeTV becomes the third private film company in China receiving financial endorsement from local banks
Previously, most of the bank financing projects in China were offered to individual projects, such as Huayi Brother’s The Banquet (2005) and Assembly (2007)
The loan offered by Bank of Hangzhou is a credit loan in which no guarantee is required. Lu Yang, vice president of LeTV Pictures, said the company would use the loan to develop and invest on film projects of new Chinese filmmakers.
Established in 2009, LeTV Pictures is the film investment wing of online film distributor LeTV.com. In the coming year, according to Lu, the company will invest and produce at least four projects by new filmmakers including Sheng Zhimin’s thriller Last Valentine’s Day, Li Weiran’s action comedy Showdown at CBD (tentative title). Both will start shooting by the end of the year. LeTV Pictures is also developing The Thirteen’s Sign by debut filmmaker Ya Te and historical epic King of the King for year 2011.
LeTV has previously invested and produced two comedy hits: Jeff Lau’s action comedy Kung Fu Cyborg (2009), and Li Weiran’s 2010 summer hit Welcome to Sha-ma Town.