Over the past few years, the US studios have increased the number of French films they have acquired for French distribution. Non-local companies can access the distribution portion of the 'compte de soutien' film subsidy, for the release of French films but must channel it back into distributing French films.

On the whole, the local industry welcomes Hollywood's presence. Indies are unfazed as the US studios tend to work with the French studios (Gaumont, Pathe, UGC and, to a lesser extent, StudioCanal and TFM) on bigger films.

But the threat of increased competition for titles does loom. 'There aren't 10,000 good films so the more distributors there are, the fewer films there are,' says Francois Clerc, head of French distribution for Gaumont.

The studios say they are not looking to drive up either budgets or talent costs. 'I won't participate in that. I wouldn't do it,' says Jose Covo, managing director of Twentieth Century Fox France.

Olivier Aknin of BackUp Films, which arranges financing for French and foreign projects, believes the studios' presence can be a boon for French producers. 'It's fresh money and any initiative like that is welcome,' he says.

Producer Herve Truffaut of Les Films Christian Fechner, who has worked with Warner Bros on local hits such as Patrice Leconte's broad comedy Les Bronzes 3, says: 'No-one is really in competition. The more interlocutors there are, the better it is for French cinema.'

Warner Bros, he suggests, helps French film to survive by investing in local films. 'Their team is very specialised and very serious in both distribution and marketing.'



- Recent releases include Luc Jacquet's dramatic fairytale The Fox And The Child and Gilles De Maistre's documentary Le Premier Cri. It is set to distribute another documentary, Antoine de Maximy's Hollywood, I'm Sleeping Over Tonight, later this year.

- In 2006, the Disney Nature label was created to co-produce one or two wildlife documentaries per year with local producers.

- Jean-Francois Camilleri is the managing director.


Twentieth Century Fox France

- Acquires local films for local distribution, including Gael Morel's Directors' Fortnight drama Apres Lui, which notched up $862,000 last year.

- Headed by managing director Jose Covo, formerly president of PolyGram Audiovisuel.

Warner Bros France

- Warner Bros acquires or co-produces one to three local films a year. Recent releases include Gilles Legrand's drama The Maiden And The Wolves (La Jeune Fille Et Les Loups) and Gerard Krawczyk's crime comedy L'Auberge Rouge.

- Works regularly with Les Films Christian Fechner.

- Francis Boespflug is managing director, theatrical.

Paramount Pictures International

- The local distribution arm of Paramount/DreamWorks was created after the dissolution of United International Pictures (UIP). Recent acquisitions include Philippe Muyl's Magique! from Wild Bunch.

- Paramount plans to release three to five French films a year via acquisition or co-production. It is also releasing Universal titles until summer 2008.

- The president of Paramount in France is Camille Trumer, formerly president of UIP. Karen Adler is director of acquisitions and co-productions. Adler formerly worked independently, setting up international film financing.

Sony Pictures Entertainment

- Since dissolving its joint venture with French major Gaumont in 2007, Sony has not released a French film.

- Headed by CEO Eric Brune since 2000.

Universal Pictures International

- Universal plans to expand into local acquisitions and productions at the European level, but the company was not yet ready to discuss plans for France at press time.


With Italian films consistently topping the local chart for more than a year, the Italian industry sees the US majors' engagement in Italian production and distribution as a means to advance and strengthen their business. Andrea Occhipinti, president of independent distributor Lucky Red, says: 'If the US majors come, it means they think they will make money.'

The timing is right, says producer Riccardo Tozzi of Cattleya, and president of the producers' section of Anica, Italy's motion-picture organisation. Admissions for Italian movies have quadrupled between the late 1990s and 2007. Local titles claimed 31% of the total box office last year.

'It enriches Italian distribution and is very positive for us,' he says, pointing out the US studios are involved in the production, financing and distribution of a broad spectrum of genres.

Tozzi, who has worked with Warner Bros frequently, most recently on the 2007 release of the award-winning My Brother Is An Only Child, agrees. 'The first contract with a US major is complicated.' But he says once the first contracts are in order, usually with help from the studio's Los Angeles and London offices, the relationships are 'very smooth'.

Producer Lionello Cerri also worked with Warner Bros on the Italian release of the Silvio Soldini's drama Days And Clouds in 2007. Warner Bros pre-bought the film and released it in October, backed by a $1.6m (EUR1m) marketing campaign. It grossed $6m (EUR3.8m) earlier this year and picked up 15 Davide di Donatello nominations. 'We found Warners to be an attentive partner,' says Cerri. 'The film was launched very well, the trailer and posters were perfect and they selected the right cinemas to place it in.'



Warner Bros

- The most active US studio in Italy, Warner Bros Entertainment Italia invests in projects and acquires rights to Italian films. Upcoming releases include two Cattleya titles, Lucia Lucini's drama Love, Soccer And Other Catastrophes and Lucini's novel adaptation Perfect Skin.

- 'We are open to all formulas,' says company president Paolo Ferrari. 'From distribution to the development of screenplays, to partial financing or total financing of various projects. Usually the local films are made for the single territory.'

- Ferrari oversees all Warner Bros activity in Italy. He is a major player in the Italian film industry and a former head of film bodies Cinetel, Anica and Fapav.

Twentieth Century Fox

- Fox distributed Mohsen Melliti's culture clash drama Me, The Other (Io, L'Altro), which grossed $288,000 (EUR182,000) last year on a niche release.

- 'We have a mandate from (parent company) News Corp to increase all manner of investment in local product,' says Osvaldo De Santis, president of Twentieth Century Fox Italy. 'That includes (pay-TV outfit) Sky Italia, which is increasing the production of local TV series using local directors. There is an agreement between (Italian producers' organisation) Anica and Sky to finance Italian films.

Universal Pictures International

- In line with its European production plans, Universal aims to work further with the Italian film industry but no details were available at press time. The present general manager and CEO of Universal Italy is French national Richard Borg.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International

- Disney picks up and releases local films through Buena Vista International Italia Distribution. It buys completed projects and invests in new ones. 'We need local expertise for partnerships but want to expand the Disney title in synergy with other Disney divisions. There might be 100% Disney finance at some point,' says Paul Zonderland, the company's senior vice-president and general manager. 'It's my goal to marry the Disney brand and the Italian brand. Both are cinemas with strong emotions and a strong heritage.'

- Wdsmpi plans to produce one to two films per year and distribute a further three or four. Disney works regularly with Fulvio Lucisano's production outfit IIF (Italian International Film). It co-produced the comedy Questa Notte E'Ancora Nostra, which is presently at the top of the Italian charts, taking more than $740,000 in its first weekend.

'We have an excellent working relationship with IIF and we're exploring new co-productions together,' says Zonderland.


Warner Bros and Walt Disney have been involved in German production and distribution since the mid-1990s, while Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) had a standalone production outfit, Deutsche Columbia Pictures, for six years until 2003.

The focus has returned to the studios' local activities with plans for an increased commitment to German-language production by the appointment of Andrea Willson and Maike Haas to Universal Pictures and SPE, respectively.

In addition, the introduction of the German Federal Film Fund (Dfff) incentive scheme for films shooting in Germany has made the territory even more attractive. Warner Bros received $14.2m (EUR9m) for Speed Racer, for example, while Columbia Pictures drew down $9.1m (EUR5.8m) for Tom Tykwer's The International.

'At the Berlinale, the majors' doors were almost coming off with an onslaught of German producers wanting to work with them,' says producer Sytze Van Der Laan of Studio Hamburg Produktion.

It was not always this way, as Peter Engelmann, the former head of development at Deutsche Columbia Pictures, recalls of the 1990s. 'There was a strong anti-Americanism in the German film industry (then), a David versus Goliath conflict of 'us' against the big American companies. There are also a lot of 'old loyalties', as people know each other from film school.'

However, a new generation of German producers and talent have a completely different mindset when it comes to collaborating with US studios. They include Andreas Ulmke-Smeaton and Ewa Karlstroem's SamFilm which worked with Disney on The Wild Soccer Bunch franchise, and producers Jakob Claussen and Thomas Wobke, who have a three-year multi-picture deal with Twentieth Century Fox.

'We consult with Fox about the screenplays, the choice of creative elements and the casting of our films,' says Claussen. 'We can enjoy all the advantages of the Hollywood model, but remain our own masters.'

Thilo Rothkirch, owner of the Berlin-based animation studio Cartoon Film, has teamed with Warner Bros to make the box-office hits The Little Polar Bear and Laura's Star. He says the partnership has enabled him to plan for the long term: 'With Warner Bros, we have a partnership like one could only wish for. We already know now what we want to make in the next seven years.'

Walt Disney is distributing Studio Hamburg's family detective franchise, The Three Investigators. 'Closer collaboration may solve one of our biggest problems - marketing,' says Studio Hamburg's Van Der Laan.



Sony Pictures Entertainment

- Last year, SPE's Cologne-based TV production arm Sony Pictures Film und Fernseh Produktions, acquired the rights for a feature adaptation of Tommy Jaud's novel Resturlaub, which will shoot this year.

- Sony recently moved its European production headquarters from Madrid to Berlin. It will now be headed by Maike Haas, who was appointed vice-president, international production, Europe for SPE's international motion picture production division at the beginning of 2008. Haas will focus on German-language and pan-European projects.

Twentieth Century Fox

- Fox plans to acquire or co-produce two to four local films a year.

- Its first local acquisition is Marco Kreuzpaintner's Trade, co-produced by Claussen+Wobke+Putz Filmproduktion. Fox is also working with Kreuzpaintner on an adaptation of the cult German novel, Krabat, and has bought the family animation Jasper, which it will release at Christmas.

- Fox has a three-year, five-picture deal with Claussen+Wobke+Putz. Fox released Stellungswechsel last year. Production on 13 Semesters starts in April, while Maria, Ihm Schmeckt's Nicht will shoot this summer.

- Gabriela Bacher handles acquisition and oversees development and production aspects. Kalle Friz is responsible for the marketing of local productions.

- Twentieth Century Fox also handles sales and distribution of Prokino titles.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International

- Disney acquires or co-produces four or five local films a year. Acquisitions include the Oscar-winning The Lives Of Others, and it co-produced family animation Lilly The Witch.

- The company's distribution arm handles booking and billing for selected local titles from Universum Film such as Christian Zubert's Hardcover.

- Justyna Musch is manager of co-productions and acquisitions.

Warner Bros

- Warner Bros acquires or co-produces five to six local films a year, including Phantomschmerz and Mord Ist Mein Geschaft, Leibling.

- Jacqueline Jagow is director, local productions. She was formerly head of development at Mr Brown Entertainment and Buena Vista Filmproduction. She reports to Willi Geike, president and managing director, Germany and Austria of Warner Bros Entertainment.

- Warner Bros' distribution arm also handles booking and billing for local films from X Verleih and NFP (neue film production).

Universal Pictures International

- Andrea Willson was recently appointed the Berlin-based director of German production and acquisitions, part of Universal's new international production venture. It plans to co-produce or acquire two or three German projects a year.

- Universal's German distribution arm has recently enjoyed success with family adventure Die Rote Zora. Romantic drama Fleisch Ist Mein Gemuse opens this month.



All the studios have opened Mexico offices to work with local stories and talent. Universal Pictures alone is involved in two production outfits.

A $100m production, financing, sales and distribution partnership - cha cha cha - sees directors Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo Del Toro and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, and Universal and Focus Features International (FFI) work together for five films. The directors retain creative control over their projects. Universal has invested in and will co-own the features, with Focus selling the films worldwide.

Cuaron's Rudo Y Cursi is the first to be completed. Written with brother Alfonso, the film stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna.

'We founded this company to produce movies the way we always wanted,' explained Alfonso Cuaron on the Rudo Y Cursi set, last year.

Separately, Focus has a first-look deal with Canana, the production outfit founded by Bernal, Luna and producer Pablo Cruz. They have co-produced Cary Fukunaga's gang drama Sin Nombre.

'Our relationship has been a huge learning curve,' says Cruz. 'It helps to narrow the gap between Latin America and the US in terms of industry and culture. It also helps to build a healthier relationship between producers, directors and writers. But also we, Mexican producers, that have a relationship like this, should be critical of formulas that don't match the reality we are living.'

Indeed, even though Mexican films are struggling at the local box office (they had a market share of just 8% in 2007), some local producers believe what Hollywood brings - much-needed investment, jobs, training, and marketing and distribution muscle - comes at some price to their cultural identity.

'(The US studios) follow and impose formulas, like romantic comedy, that reduce the panorama, the cultural diversity of the country,' suggests producer Miguel Necoechea of Ivania Films. 'We have to preserve our culture. Our point of view is not like the Americans. We don't think like the US.'

Director and producer Victor Ugalde, head of state film funds Fidecine and Foprocine, says: 'The US studios are unfair competitors to the Mexican independent producers because they have all the infrastructure and the distribution to maintain their films longer in the theatres, and the power to pressure the exhibitors.'

So far, only a handful of US-with-local-talent films have opened in Mexico and all have performed solidly. However, the highest-grossing local film of last year was the horror title Km 31 ($11.8m), released by Videocine.



Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Int'l

- Disney's Latin American label, Miravista, tapped former Argos Cine head Inna Payan to head its new office in Mexico. Payan works with Buenos Aires-based Miravista chief Fernando Lagier.

- In 2006, Miravista produced Jorge Colon's romantic comedy Tired Of Kissing Frogs, which made $7.3m at the box office. Miravista co-produces with Buena Vista International, which distributes all Miravista films.

Warner Bros

- Independent producer Leonardo Zimbron is the director of local production, reporting to Juan Manuel Borbolla, general manager of Warner Bros Pictures.

- The company has a first-look deal with Billy Rovzar's Lemon Films, and has co-produced Javier Lozano's Sultanes Del Sur, with Lemon and Spain's Filmax. It has also co-produced Issa Lopez's Efectos Secundarios, which grossed $4m in 2006.

- Warner Bros Mexico is set to release three Mexican films this year. Mario Munoz's Bajo La Sal, in post, and Andrea Martinez's Cosas Insignificantes, produced with Bertha Navarro and Guillermo del Toro, and Spain's Manga Films. Christmas film Xmas Inc is also being lined up.

Universal Pictures

- Universal and Focus have a $100m, five-picture deal with Alfonso Cuaron, del Toro and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu of cha cha cha.

- Universal's specialty label Focus Features has a first-look deal with Canana, the production company founded by Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna and Pablo Cruz. To date they have co-produced Cary Fukunaga's Sin Nombre.

Twentieth Century Fox

- Fox is set to release Roberto Schneider's adaptation of the best-selling novel Arrancame La Vida, produced by Altavista.

Columbia Pictures Producciones Mexico

- Columbia was the first studio to open a Mexican production division back in 2003. It is headed by Nuvision executive Gabriel Ripstein, son of director Arturo.

- Its first film, Fernando Sarinana's Ninas Mal, fully financed by Columbia, took $7.8m to become the second highest-grossing local film at the local box office in 2007.


Warner Bros set the trend back in 2004, working with Spanish producers through its office in Madrid, and now the other studios are following suit.

Their presence in the territory is, for the most part, greeted warmly by local producers and distributors at a time when local films are failing to make an impact.

Joaquin Padro, co-general director of Rodar y Rodar, co-produced Juan Antonio Bayona's hit horror film The Orphanage with Warner Bros Espana. '(Warner Bros) came on board half way through the production, investing private-equity money and handling distribution in Spain. They used this incredible Hollywood heat, which they normally save for the major films.'

The Orphanage has grossed $37.7m in Spain and a New Line remake is now in the works.

'The US companies bring a chance to produce features locally without having to rely on subsidies and pre-sales,' says Enrique Costa, head of acquisitions at Avalon Productions. 'If I was a Spanish director, I would be a little afraid of the arrival of Hollywood, but if I'm a producer or distributor then their presence is really helpful.'

Any concerns over an intrusive Hollywood approach are dispelled by Javier Mendez at Mediapro, who is co-producing Miguel Marti's medical drama Sexykiller with Warner Bros. 'We created the project and then sent it to Warner as well as Antena 3 Films. (Warner Bros) has taken part in the project with two people as producers (Beatriz Bodegas and Simona Benzakein). Their say was taken into consideration and they were partners. The relationship has run very smoothly.'

Juan Gordon, co-founder of Morena Films, who co-produced football comedy Blinkers with Telecinco and Columbia Pictures last year, agrees. 'They will have comments on the script and on the cap, but they don't take over. Their investment is only about 10% or 15% so that doesn't give them final say on the creative issues.'

He believes it is all a question of the deal. 'If the independent producer is not wiped out of the recoupment then it is fine. But we need to make sure collectively (as co-producers) that we close deals with the studios where we don't just sell everything we own like they do in the UK.'

Gordon is in talks with Paramount and Universal to make two English-language projects.

However Blinkers took just $2m and Gordon admits Sony did not release the film 'as successfully as one would have expected'.

Similarly, Warner Bros' release of Mediapro's No Digas Nada has taken less than $1m, which is 'below our expectations', says Mendez.

However, local confidence in the studios' ability to release Spanish films is still high.

'They have strong distribution structures with the best know-how,' says Mendez.

'I don't think they have come here just to handle the next movie from (arthouse directors such as) Jaime Rosales,' says Costa. 'They come here to produce comedies and horror films, or films with a famous Spanish star and/or director that will involve a big promotion campaign to make 'x' amount of money.

'At the end of the day, what they and we want is people watching Spanish films again. I would prefer to see a major Spanish movie with Spanish actors than American Pie 5.'



Warner Bros

- As well as acquiring local films, Warner Bros Espana has an output deal with Mediapro and is co-producing projects with the company, including Sexykiller.

- Warner also has a deal with the Almodovars' El Deseo to develop and produce projects, including El Patio De Mi Carcel. It releases all El Deseo films in Spain.

- Headed by general manager Pablo Nogueroles.

Sony Pictures Entertainment

- Columbia Pictures Producciones Espanolas has closed its doors but Sony backed Alvaro Fernandez Armero's Blinkers last year and Juan Calvo's Di Que Si in 2004.

Twentieth Century Fox

- Hispano Foxfilm has a distribution deal with Sogepaq in Spain, including El Camino De Los Ingleses.

- It also distributes its own films.

- Headed by Miguel Lustau.

Paramount Pictures International

- Paramount Pictures Spain will open its doors in July, working in tandem with Paramount Home Entertainment Spain, and is now hiring staff.

- It will be releasing its own films first in the territory, and 'the second stage will be to look for acquisition in local production opportunities,' says Andrew Cripps, president of PPI.

Universal Pictures International

- Has plans to set up an office in Spain but no details at press time.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International

- Disney has a theatrical co-distribution deal with local broadcaster Telecinco and has picked up local rights to Captain Thunder.

- Headed by Javier Vasallo.



India's film industry is booming - total revenues grew by 13% last year to around $2.7bn. Most of the US studios have made forays into Hindi-language film production, after finally accepting the only way to reach Indian audiences is to make local movies with local stars.

The trend is to hook up with individual Bollywood film-makers or emerging studios such as UTV Motion Pictures, Eros and Studio18, because insider knowledge of consumer tastes is essential.

However, the amounts being spent and the number of films being made is just a drop in the vast Bollywood ocean. A bigger influence is the deep-pocketed local players whose hunger for product is resulting in escalating star salaries and increasing costs. And so far, the US studios have not made any moves into the prolific Tamil and Telegu-language industries.

'Overseas money in film is still quite minimal - at this point Hollywood is just feeling out the market,' says Timmy Kandhari, executive director of PricewaterhouseCoopers' Mumbai entertainment practice.

He adds that while the US studios bring in new technology and ways of working, they rely on their local partners' knowledge of Indian consumers and how to market and release Hindi films, both in India and across the diaspora.

Indeed, the showdown last Diwali holiday season between Sony's first Hindi-language film Saawariya and Om Shanti Om, which was released worldwide by Eros, proved the US studios do not have the upper hand in distributing Indian content. Saawariya was a hit and arguably a more sophisticated product, but it was out-grossed by Om Shanti Om, which had bigger stars and went through the Bollywood distribution machine.

However, Eros International COO and commercial director Jyoti Deshpande points out Bollywood is not able to arrange a US release on 2,000 prints or to take a film to the Oscars: 'For a film like Om Shanti Om, it makes sense to go through Eros. But if you have a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, they're more equipped to handle a break-out success.'

Meanwhile, it is worth noting Indian players are not content to simply be a conduit to the vast Indian market. Companies such as UTV and Adlabs are turning the tables by joining with the US studios for English-language international films.



Sony Pictures Entertainment

- Financed and distributed Saawariya.

- Also has a non-exclusive deal with Eros International to co-invest in a slate of Hindi movies, with Sony distributing some titles in the US and Eros handling international territories.

- Distributing two English-language films, co-produced by Overbrook Entertainment and India's UTV Motion Pictures. Acquired a majority stake in Indian CGI house FrameFlow.

Warner Bros

- Warner Bros has worldwide rights to its first Hindi production, Nikhil Advani's action comedy Made In China, which is being produced by Ramesh Sippy Productions and Orion Pictures. Further Hindi-language projects with other producers are in the works.

- Headed by Blaise Fernandes.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International

- Walt Disney has a deal with Bollywood powerhouse Yash Raj Films to co-produce one animated feature a year, starting with Roadside Romeo. Last year Disney paid around $200m to double its stake in UTV Software Communications to 32%.

Paramount Pictures International

- The studio's parent Viacom has a 50:50 joint venture with India's Network18, covering TV channels, film production and distribution, and multi-platform services. Network18 has folded its film production and distribution outfit Studio 18 into the joint venture.

Twentieth Century Fox

- Fox is understood to be in talks with India-based sister company Star to enter film production. It previously had a deal for three Hindi films with Ram Gopal Varma but only Ek Hasina Thi was produced. Has also teamed up with UTV Motion Pictures to co-finance M Night Shyamalan's The Happening, while Fox Searchlight and UTV co-produced two more English-language titles, Mira Nair's The Namesake and I Think I Love My Wife, starring Chris Rock.


China's box office is growing at a rate of more than 26% a year but restrictions on foreign investment in the film industry, import quotas and censorship make this a difficult territory with which to deal.

The US studios have all either produced Chinese-language films or explored the option, but have not found the process easy due to internal politics and censorship requirements. As they cannot distribute directly themselves, one of their aims when producing both Chinese and English-language films in China is to find projects that also work overseas.

'Hollywood investments in China so far are still focused on the kung-fu genre, which is the genre that can sell in the US,' says Huayi Brothers Pictures CEO Wang Zhonglei. 'These films are already popular in China, so the Hollywood involvement is more about increasing the budget and strengthening the cast.'

However Sony, Disney and Warner Bros have all made smaller Chinese-language films aimed at the local market, with varying degrees of success. Lu Chuan's Sony-backed The Missing Gun and Kekexili: Mountain Patrol gained the director international recognition. Warner China Film has high hopes for Ning Hao's Silver Medalist, due for release in May, and Disney's The Secret Of The Magic Gourd grossed around $3.56m (rmb25m) in China last year, a solid result for a children's film.

Although local producers are not short of investment, they agree they have learned much about technical production from the US studios, including visual and sound effects and production design outside of the Chinese period style at which the country excels. 'Terminator 4 was in discussions to shoot scenes at Hengdian, and though we didn't reach a deal, we learned about building sets for sci-fi stories,' says Hengdian World Studios CEO Yin Xu.



Sony Pictures Entertainment

- One of the first US studios to produce in China via Hong Kong-based Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia (Cpfpa), which produced Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Stephen Chow's Kung-Fu Hustle, among others. Although quiet recently, Cpfpa last year acquired worldwide rights to Stephen Chow's CJ7 and signed a multi-picture deal with the film-maker that will first yield Stephen Fung's dance-inspired rom-com Jump.

- Headed by Barbara Robinson in Hong Kong.

Warner Bros

- The first and, so far, only US studio approved to set up a production joint venture in China, which it did in 2004 with China Film and the Hengdian Group.

- The venture, Warner China Film HG Corp, has distributed local films such as Crazy Stone and Phone Number 601 and co-produced international films shooting in China such as The Painted Veil and Jade Warrior. It has also teamed with Hong Kong's Emperor Motion Pictures to co-produce Benny Chan's Connected.

- Warner Bros has Ellen Eliasoph in China, who divides her time between China and the US.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International

- Disney released its first China co-production, The Secret Of The Magic Gourd, last year which was co-produced with China Film and Hong Kong's Centro Digital Pictures.

Paramount Pictures

- Has not announced any Chinese-language projects but Beijing-based producer Dede Nickerson has a first-look producing and consulting arrangement with the studio.

Twentieth Century Fox

- Co-producing Andrew Lau's Gold Bandits with Beijing-based Ciwen Digital Oriental Film & TV and Star's Fortune Star unit.

Universal Pictures International

- Has yet to announce any concrete plans but Focus Features has a relationship with Hong Kong-based producer and distributor Bill Kong of Edko Films and has co-financed or sold several of his films including Lust, Caution.

- Edko distributes Universal films in Hong Kong and China, and Kong helped set up The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor as a co-production with China Film.