Cannes China Focus Includes ‘Monkey King,’ ‘Have a Nice Day,’ ‘Dragonkeeper’

Monkey King: Hero is Back
Monkey King: Hero is Back

This year’s Cannes film confab will put the spotlight on the opportunities in one of the world’s largest markets on May 19. As part of the China Co-Production Day, the CNC, Marché du Film and Bridging the Dragon will present a panel focused on the growth of arthouse cinema in the nation and its impact on Europe — with animation taking a key part in the discussion.

The panelists include Wei Lu, producer of box office record-setter Monkey King: Hero Is Back and inventor of a new funding model; Cheng Yang, producer of Have a Nice Day (which screened in competition at the Berlinale and heads to Annecy next month); Yu-Fai Suen, managing director of Pinewood Pictures, advising various regional funds and managing co-production opportunities in the Chinese market; Ming Xiang, deputy director general of the market leader ticketing platform Weying Technology and founding member of Alliance of Arthouse Cinema; Wen Song, founder of FIRST, the Chinese film festival focusing on new talents; Gary Mak, director of arthouse cinema chain Broadway Cinematheque; Claude Eric-Poiroux, general director of Europa Cinemas; and Li Ruijun, director of the drama Walking Past the Future, selected in this year’s Un Certain Regard.

The panel will open with speeches by Christophe Tardieu of the CNC; Shen Zhongwen from Festival du cinema chinois en France; Lucia Recalde, unit head of Creative Europe MEDIA; and Bridging the Dragon’s chairman, Leontine Petit. Patrick Frater from Variety will moderate.

Following the discussion, two new Chinese co-productions will be presented: the aesthetic exploration The Colours of China (Germany/New Zealand) and the recently announced animated feature Dragonkeeper — a fantasy epic adaptation of Carole Wilkinson’s book series being co-produced with Spanish studios. The event will also reveal the program for Bridging the Dragon’s upcoming Sino-European Project Lab in Nanjing (in collaboration with ARRI).

The day will continue through the afternoon with company meetings organized by Bridging the Dragon, matching 40 international companies with Chinese counterparts. The Chinese side includes Jackie Chan’s Sparkle Roll Media, Wanda Pictures, Weying Technology, Dadi Century, Spire Media, Road Pictures and WD Pictures. International participants include SF Studios (Denmark), Les Films du Lendemain (France), K5 Media Group (Germany), Brio Films (France), Ideale Audience (France), Road Side Attractions (USA), N279 Entertainment (Netherlands) and Vaca Films (Spain).

Monkey King: Hero is Back

Monkey King: Hero is Back