Chinese state-owned conglomerate China Film Group and Hong Kong-based Era Information and Entertainment unveiled a long-term strategic partnership at a press conference today in Beijing.

The two companies plan to co-produce 10 Chinese-language feature films over the next three years. It is understood that the two companies will set up a joint venture for the co-production projects, although its name and the date of its establishment have yet to be announced.

Representing the two sides of the partnership are China Film Group chairman Han Sanping and Era Digital Media chairman Chiu Fu-sheng, who is also chairman of the Taiwan Motion Pictures Development Foundation.

According to Han, the two companies have already begun discussing possible projects to work on together and the first three will be confirmed by mid-2007.

'Distinct from our previous co-production partnerships, this cooperation will be a long-term cooperation. It will not be about a single film project, but a partnership combining the resources of both companies,' said Han at the press conference.

Era Information and Entertainment was set up by Taiwan-based Era International. In the 1990s, Era International produced and invested in several mainland Chinese productions such as Zhang Yimou's Raise The Red Lantern (1991) and To Live (1994).

'Before, we have helped the world to see the quality of Chinese films. In recent years we have seen Chinese movies gaining their entertainment values. We feel it is time to further promote Chinese-language movies,' Chiu said.

Big-budget films, and films by first-time young talents, will be the two priorities when it comes to selecting the co-production projects, according to Han.

China Film Group is co-producing several big-budget upcoming Chinese films including Stephen Chow's A Hope, Peter Chan's The Warlords, John Woo's Red Cliff and Chen Kaige's new project, Mei Lanfang.