China mulls Dubai blueprint for movie industry growth

Top Chinese officials say keen to follow lead of Dubai Studio City and Media City concept
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
By Andy Sambidge
Fri 08 Mar 2013 10:09 AM

China is looking at the blueprint set out by Dubai as it develops its movie industry, officials have said.

Officials representing the China State Administration of Radio, Film & Television (SARFT) said Dubai Media City and Dubai Studio City can provide a blueprint for the development of the Chinese film industry during a recent visit to the emirate.

In addition to the fact finding mission, SARFT expressed an interest in formalising a relationship with the Dubai Film and TV Commission in order to increase the volume of Chinese films shot in Dubai.

Zhanf Hongsen, counsel and deputy director-general, Film Bureau, SARFT, said: "Dubai's Media City and Studio City have proven to be very impressive. From the perspective of their roles in establishing and growing the media and entertainment industries, as well as providing a home to talent, we can see how this could be a blueprint for us to follow.

"China and Dubai have established strong trading relations and we hope to grow this in the film production industry."

Hosting the delegation, Jamal Al Sharif, managing director, Dubai Media City and Dubai Studio City, added: "China is a huge market with enormous potential for growing sectors related to media and entertainment.

"Our own infrastructure, in addition to the support services offered for international film makers and media companies, means that we can put forward a compelling case for more production to take place in Dubai."

Dubai already has a track record of hosting the filming of Chinese productions.

Last year's Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains featured Dubai alongside China, Taipei, Tokyo and Milan.

This multi million dollar movie sourced 50 percent of its crew from freelancers and companies, licensed by Dubai Media City and Dubai Studio City.

China generated box office revenues of approximately $2.7 billion in 2012, a 30.2 percent increase over 2011.

With an average of nine new screens opening every day, China’s film-exhibition business is growing at a rate that is unparalleled.

Since 2002, the industry has grown tenfold. Even with 13,000 theatres, one for every 220,000 people, China’s film industry remains relatively unsaturated.

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