Running alongside Shanghai's regular market, called SIFF Mart, the second edition of the Shanghai International Film Festival's (SIFF) China Film Catch and Pitch (CFPC) hopes to marry talent and funds between China and international territories.
Organisers say the CFPC skews firmly towards China, differing from other Asian co-production markets such as the Pusan Promotion Plan and Hong Kong's HAF which focus on pan-Asian projects.
'We see the market as a platform to help bridge the gap between projects and money,' says Shen Yang, programmer of CFPC and Co-production Film Pitch and Catch (Co-FPC). 'The aim is to encourage co-production with China and to make the Chinese film market a healthier market. In the Chinese film market, blockbusters (only 20% of the total number of films made) take up 80% of the market. We need more diverse films in the market.'
Running from June 16-18, the project market is split into two: CFPC, which focuses on eight selected Chinese projects, and Co-FPC, which selects 32 Chinese and international projects.
Of the 40 projects from last year's event, 11 have snagged some investment and four are in active development or production. Yang Shupeng's period action film Robbers, starring Hu Jun and Jiang Wu, is now shooting in south-east China, and being produced by Infotainment, Shanghai Film Group and Stella Megamedia. Furthermore, US-China production company Ironpond is in talks with director Wang Huiyu about producing Cement And Ferrari, about a race-car scandal, while Xiao Jiang's extreme-sports drama Goth's Breath has found backing from Michael Stephens' New Zealand Asia Pacific Film Fund.
Both CFPC and Co-FPC will provide more cash incentives this year. The CFCP jury will select the most creative project, while financiers participating in the Co-FPC section will choose the most promising project (from a total of 32) in which to invest. Cinelab, Kodak's China joint venture, will award both winners a printing service worth $2,880 (RMB20,000). In addition, Technicolor's Beijing branch will provide each winning project with post-production awards worth $21,610 (RMB150,000). For the selected eight projects in CFPC, Technicolor will also provide each with $11,530 (RMB80,000) if the projects reach production agreements.
At press time, SIFF was also in talks with two major local film investors, Polybona Film Distribution and Chengtian Entertainment, to provide title sponsorship cash awards to promising projects in the market.
The eight projects in the CFPC, selected from 153 entrants, are by film-makers who have received some international recognition. They include Hong Kong's Yan Yan Mak, Taiwan's Leste Chen, and mainland China's Sheng Zhimin and Wang Chao. The 32 projects in Co-FPC are first or second features by young Chinese film-makers, and international directors such as New Zealand's Rachel Douglas (Little Dragon) and Japan's Takashi Koizumi (Li-liang).
As well as the major local film companies, around 100 international buyers are participating in CFPC and Co-FPC, including The Weinstein Company, Universal, Disney, Lakeshore Entertainment, Japan's Kadokawa and the Korean Producers Association.
This year, the CFPC and Co-FPC are being held in Shanghai's Crown Plaza Hotel. A workshop on pitching stories to international producers will be held on June 16 for film-makers of the eight recommended projects, and on June 17 they will present their projects to international buyers. On June 18, there will be a day-long business meeting for all of the 40 projects (both CFPC and Co-FPC).