China Film Group Corporation and private entertainment group Enlight Media launched the 'China Film New Media Production Project' today with 20 short films to be distributed across 12 digital platforms, starting from Saturday (Dec 20).

The two groups plan to spend more than $7.3m (RMB50m) to produce 1,000 short films over five years in the initiative which was announced last year.

Each film is budgeted at $7,300 (RMB50,000) and will be shot in HD with professional crew from China Film Group. The first 20 films have been completed and will be available at China Film Group's partner video sites. In the first year of operation, the two companies plan to produce 200 films.

Mr. Bian and Seeking Her by first time filmmakers Ding Xiaoyang and Li Haishu are the first two films selected to launch on Chinese video sites tomorrow. Both filmmakers were chosen from the 'Young Talent Project'. Last year, the group signed with more than ten young filmmaking talents to develop their filmmaking skills.

Among the 12 new media companies are,,,, mobile carrier China Mobile and video-on-demand (VoD) company Dadi Century Interactive Media Ltd. Viewers can watch the 20 shorts via the internet, mobile phones and VoD services.

'We wanted to make the most of our production advantage and provide quality content for new media users. It is also a good opportunity for us to develop new filmmaking talents,' said China Film Group president Han Sanping.

Jiang Hong from China Film Group's Film Production subsidiary said the company would explore possible business models for distributing digital content on various platforms, based on hit rates or advertisement revenues.

It is understood that China Film Group is the first state-owned film production company to produce content for new media. Previously, private new media companies such as Zonbo Media and Megajoy Media have invested in short film production catering to internet and mobile phone users.