Walt Disney, Shanghai Media Group to develop Disney-branded movies

Walt Disney, Shanghai Media Group to develop Disney-branded movies

Thu, Mar 6 2014

By Chris Peters and Kanika Sikka

(Reuters) – Walt Disney Studios has signed an agreement with Shanghai Media Group Pictures to develop Disney-branded movies, the latest move by a U.S. studio to grow its presence in China’s entertainment business.

U.S.-based writers will team up with local writers and filmmakers to develop stories and scripts that incorporate Chinese themes in Disney movies, the studio said in a statement. (link.reuters.com/mur47v)

The studio said the multi-year partnership with Shanghai Media will expand training opportunities between Chinese and American writers and filmmakers.

Tony To, the studio’s executive vice president of production, will oversee the co-development program, which could allow for easier releases of English-language films in China.

A 37-member Film Censorship Committee vets every movie in China for nudity, violence and politically sensitive scenes. Western films in addition must meet the committee’s “amendment opinions” to be one of the 34 Hollywood films permitted in China each year.

Last year, Disney’s superhero film “Iron Man 3” debuted in China and included a top Chinese actress and footage shot in China, additions that helped the film ease past strict censors and often confusing rules for Western films.

In February, the official Xinhua news agency reported that China will maintain its quota for imported Hollywood movies this year, rejecting reports it had planned to increase access for U.S. films to the world’s second-largest cinema market.

Production companies like Viacom Inc’s Paramount Picture and DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc have hired Chinese actors and set up co-productions with Chinese firms.

China’s entertainment and media market is estimated to grow to $148 billion by 2015 from around $120 billion in 2013, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ outlook for the global entertainment and media business 2011-2015.

In 2012, Disney was named founding partner of a National Chinese Animation Creative Research and Development Project – an initiative to advance China’s animation industry and train local talent and promote the development of Chinese content and franchises.

Walt Disney Co and BesTV New Media, the digital media unit of the Shanghai Media Group, formed a joint venture in China in December 2013, to provide entertainment using both companies’ technical and marketing expertise.

 

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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