Beijing-based Xinhua Media Entertainment (XME) has licensed mainland China distribution rights to basketball documentary More Than A Game from Lionsgate.

The film will be released nationwide by China Film Group Corporation at the end of November, but will not be one of the 20 revenue-sharing movies that China imports each year.

China Film is the only company that can import foreign films into China and is one of only two companies, along with Huaxia Film Distribution, that can distribute them. However, the Chinese authorities have been encouraging third-party companies to acquire and distribute foreign films through China Film under the banner of “assisted promotion”.

More Than A Game delves back into the true life story of NBA superstar LeBron James and four of his teammates during their time on a high school basketball team in Ohio. Directed by Kristopher Belman, it was produced by Harvey Mason Media Production in association with Galley Boy and Spring Hill Productions.

“This is an inspirational film about how inner-city boys overcame tremendous odds to become the best in doing what they love most. We are thrilled that this motivational story will be shared with people of all ages in China,” said XME managing director David U. Lee.

Majority-owned by sports and entertainment media company, Xinhua Sports & Entertainment Limited, XME has assembled an initial slate of eight projects which aim to bridge the US and Chinese markets.

Xinhua Sports & Entertainment Ltd will market More Than A Game across TV and radio stations, on the internet, in theatres and on college campuses. It will also work with the NBA and Nike on promotion of the film.