The company’s first slate will include a film adaptation of Chinese bestseller Founder, a 3D animation and an adaptation of internet novel Marriage-Home; Xu Xiaoping to be chairman of the group, Donny Liang to serve as CEO.
Chinese venture capitalist Xu Xiaoping, founder of New Oriental Education (NYSE: EDU) is to fund new company FromMovie Entertainment Co which will engage in film and TV investment, production, entertainment integrated marketing and film merchandise business.
Xu, named as China’s top 10 venture capitalists by Chinese leading business magazine Entrepreneur, will serve as chairman of the group. Board members will be Chen Keyi, (founding partner of private equity group China Renaissance K2), Xu Liang, (chief financial officer of Bona International Film Group BS) and Donny Liang, former executve of L.A –Beijing-based DMG Entertainment, which distributed Knowing, Twilight and Killers in China.
Liang will also serve as Chief Executive Officer of the company.
The company announced a three-film slate to invest and produce in its first operational year. The first will be a film adaptation of Chinese bestseller book Founder. The book, which tells about a Chinese young man’s adventure setting up a popular website with three of his friends, is seen as the China’s answer to the Facebook story. FromMovie will fully finance the $3m picture and intends to make the project a Chinese version of Social Network.
The second film will be a 3D animation Dim Sum Warrior to be created by Singaporean filmmaking duet Yen Yen Woo and Colin Goh (Singapore Dreaming, 2006). FromMovie intends to be the China investor of the film and plans to look for co-production partners in the Hollywood. FromMovie is currently in talks with Hong Kong’s Imagi Animation Studios to be one of the co-production partners of the project.
The third film in FromMovie’s slate is another film adaptation of popular Internet novel Marriage-Home, about young Chinese couple’s struggle of buying a home in the housing price rocketing Beijing.
“As an investor in the global market, I have seen a lot of potentials in the Chinese entertainment business. The recent success of Chinese entertainment companies gaining great profit in the stock market has further proved my optimistic view in the area. I am sure that FromMovie will soon follow the examples of these companies and become one of the most profitable companies in my portfolio,” Xu said
FromMovie is one of the few film start-ups receiving funding from Chinese venture capitals.
The company also engages international sales and acquisition, international co-production, film merchandise and film theme park development. It has recently developed a perfume brand for Zhang Yimou’s popular romantic drama Under the Hawthorn Tree, which has grossed over $21.5m in China and is still on release.
“I’m excited to bring my Hollywood education to the thriving Chinese film industry. And I hope the success of FromMovie can further prove that Hollywood model will work in China. I firmly believe that the rise of China film industry can bring in more win-win opportunities for China, Hollywood and beyond,” added Liang.