China-French co-productions will be able to enter the Chinese market outside of China’s import quota.

China and France signed a film co-production treaty yesterday in Beijing. The government-leveled agreement will officially let Chinese-French co-productions enter the Chinese market outside of China’s import quota.

The signing was part of the state visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy to China The treaty was co-signed by Frederic Mitterrand, French Minister of culture and communication, and Wang Taihua, director of China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).

Terms of the treaty will not be released until next week. However, it is understood that Sino-Franco co-productions will be seen as Chinese films and will not be barred by China’s import quota. The French producers will also enjoy a larger share of the film’s box-office revenue in China. For benefits on the French side, the co-production projects will be entitled for the beneficiary policies that a French film normally enjoys from the French government, such as tax-incentive policies and grants.

Beijing-based Time Antaeus Films have been preparing two to three projects that are looking for French directors or French co-production partners, including a film by Chinese rock star Cui Jian and veteran director Xie Fei. China Film Co-production Company, the state-owned company handling the application of China-foreign co-productions, said the company looks forward to see more applications to come from French filmmakers.

Before the signing today, China has previously signed co-production treaties with Italy, Canada and Australia.