Experts on a “local to global” panel today at Filmart said the next step for the growing Chinese film industry would be to co-produce with Hollywood and start exploiting possible online distribution platforms.

While US studios have been making inroads into local language ventures, Chinese producers are now looking to the potential of English-language co-productions.

“Both need an intermediate stage, and go through co-productions to learn from each other,” said Tin Mok, CEO, APAC, at Beijing-based LeEco.

“Mainland China at present is a rapidly developing market with box office that will exceed the US in two years, so it’s a good opportunity,” said Wong Jing, CEO of Mega-Vision Project Workshop Limited.

Mok said: “If we want to reach out – we should work with overseas studios to try to come up with new ways of thinking and not based solely on the Chinese market for development. We must work with mainstream culture in other countries.”

At the discussion, moderated by Screen International, the panelists referenced Luc Besson’s English-language films such as Lucy and the Transporter series as well as the Rush Hour films with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan in China.

“In Europe, it is different in there is an arthouse market on the one hand and there is state support on the other. But with more films being released, the audiences are concentrating on a smaller number of films. But there is a big enough market for European films to export within Europe,” said Philippe Bober, managing director of Coproduction Office.

Although Chinese authorities are paying more attention to censoring internet content these days, the producers still posited internet-specific content such as is currently being financed by Netflix, Amazon and Chinese platforms would also be on the rise.