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Australian-Chinese Co-production Treaty: celebrating 10 years of collaboration

On Wednesday 22 November 2017 screen professionals from Australia and China will meet in Brisbane to mark 10 years of the Australian-Chinese Co-production treaty. 

An initiative of the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Screen Australia, Ausfilm and Austrade, with the support of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), the celebration will include a forum to acknowledge and recognise the strong relationship that has developed between the two countries over the 10 years since the treaty was signed.

Graeme Mason Graeme Mason

Message from Graeme Mason, CEO, Screen Australia

Co-productions, internationally, offer great opportunities for the screen industry. It is an opportunity for us to engage with other cultures, to send shared stories out to our own audiences and those around the world, and it builds a bridge between countries. 

Commercially they make sense. They offer a chance for talented creative teams to work together and deliver financing that may otherwise be out of reach. For Australian producers, an approved official Co-production feature film enables access to the Producer Offset incentive of 40% return on Australian expenditure.

We’ve seen eight Australian-Chinese Co-productions announced to date and there are more to come. This is an achievement to be celebrated and it is the reason we have come together with our government partners, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Austrade and our colleagues at Ausfilm – who together support the efforts of Screen Australia and the Department of Communication and the Arts by promoting screen industry incentives. We also acknowledge the support of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

Official Co-productions are not the only way to work together. There are many other ways that our two countries can collaborate and you will meet people here today who are working not only in feature film but in television and online. You will hear insights into collaborations that have already been completed and some that are underway.

I welcome you all to this celebration in Brisbane and hope it provides yet another opportunity to build relationships that will lead to further cultural and business exchanges between China and Australia.

Miao Xiaotian Miao Xiaotian

Message from Miao Xiaotian, General Manager, China Film Co-production Corporation

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Australian-Chinese Co-production Treaty, and on behalf of the China Film Co-production Corporation, I extend my warm congratulations for the celebration, which will be held in Brisbane, Australia.  And I would like to sincerely thank and pay my tribute to the China and Australia film industries that have always been committed to the cooperation.

In the past ten years, progress has been made in film Co-productions between China and Australia. More importantly, under the framework of the agreement, frequent interactions and in-depth exchanges have taken place between film agencies and industry professionals in the two countries. The film cooperation between the two countries has gradually moved into best practice. I believe that the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Australian-Chinese Co-production Treaty will become a new starting point for the film and television production of China and Australia. The frequent exchanges and interactions between filmmakers in China and Australia are like sowing seeds and will lead to a fruitful outcome in the future.

I wish the special event of "10th anniversary of the signing of Australian-Chinese Co-production Treaty" a great success!

EVENT SUMMARY

  • Wednesday 22 November 2017
  • Venue Brisbane Powerhouse Rooftop Terrace, 119 Lamington St, New Farm, QLD
  • 3.30pm Registration/tea and coffee
  • 4.00pm Intro and welcome from MC and host – Tim Phillips – Head of Producer Offset and Co-production Unit, Screen Australia
  • 4.05pm Panel 1: Paul Ryan (57 Films); Mark Lazarus (Sydney Films); Alexandra Sun (Producer); Discussion and Q&A
  • 5.00pm Comments from Michael Hawkins (Chair APSA and Screen Australia Board Member)
  • 5.05pm Panel 2: In Conversation with Todd Fellman and Jackie Jiao – co-producers At Last – Case Study and Q&A
  • 6.00pm Closing remarks and Networking event – Deb Richards, CEO, Ausfilm
  • 8.00pm CLOSE

EVENT PROGRAM

4.00pm – Welcome and Intro from MC and Panel Moderator: Tim Phillips, Head of Producer Offset & Co-production Unit at Screen Australia.

Tim Phillips was Legal and Business Affairs Manager at the Australian Children's Television Foundation (ACTF) where he had responsibility for advising on all aspects of the ACTF's production, funding, distribution and licensing activities. Tim has also worked as an intellectual property lawyer at Minter Ellison, advising media and online businesses, and as a strategist for media buying company emitch Ltd. As a Senior Investment Manager with Screen Australia, Tim has managed large, small and complex television, film, multiplatform and online productions from development through to distribution and release.

4.05pm Panel: The Current State of Play – 45 mins + Q&A 10 mins

  • Mark Lazarus, Sydney Films – Head of Production
  • Paul Ryan, 57 Films – Producer and Director
  • Alexandra Sun, Producer

Mark Lazarus is a production/development executive and award-winning feature film producer. He is Head of Production for Sydney Films in Sydney, Australia. Mark’s credits include Guardians of the Tomb, an Australian-Chinese Co-production starring Li Bingbing, EP on Jungle starring Daniel Radcliffe, producer of The Loved Ones, (Winner Cadillac People’s Choice Award – TIFF Midnight Madness), Restraint and Australian Rules. He was an Investment Manager at Screen Australia, Project Manager at the Australian Film Commission, EP at Filmgraphics, Head of Development and Acquisitions at Ocean Pictures and Creative Affairs Executive at Fox Icon Productions (20th Century Fox and Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions JV).

Paul Ryan is an Adelaide-based producer and director with over three decades of experience in children’s television, documentaries, online and corporate projects. In the early days of his career he worked with Channel Nine and then the South Australia Film Corporation. Now as Owner/Director of 57 Films, Paul works closely with his Australian and Chinese team to create and produce television and online productions for international audiences. Recently 57 Films was made a finalist for the National Export Awards for a body of work produced for China. The program Chef Exchange is the cornerstone of this work with Chinese TV and digital media.

Alexandra Sun was born in Hong Kong and studied in Australia and the U.S.  Her sales company, The Film Library, has successfully launched many acclaimed Asian films such as Blind Shaft by Li Yang (Berlin Silver Bear 2003), iconic Japanese animation Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (Berlin 1999) and others by Xie Fei, Wang Quanan, Huang Jianxin, Ronny Yu, Tsui Hark etc. She has also produced Li Yang’s Blind Mountain (Cannes 2007) and Sonthar Gyal’s River (Berlin 2015) which won an APSA for Best Youth Feature Film. She also did acquisitions for France and Korea. Alexandra previously worked for the Australian Film Finance Corporation before setting up The Film Library in Los Angeles and China. She has been invited as jury member or speaker at UNESCO, Telluride and Moscow International Film Festivals. She is also the founder of the Sun Yat-Sen Cultural Foundation.

5.00pm Comments from Michael Hawkins (Chairman APSA and Screen Australia Board Member)

Michael Hawkins is a management consultant practicing in the fields of negotiation and facilitation. He is the Chairman of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. He is also Executive Director of the National Association of Cinema Operators – Australasia and the Australian International Movie Convention, a Director of Screen Australia and Creative Content Australia Ltd. He is a Member (part time) of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. He serves on the Foundation of the Queensland State Library. He was formerly CEO of Australian Multiplex Cinemas Ltd and Deputy Chair of Screen Queensland. He is a lawyer by training and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

5.05 pm Panel 2: In Conversation with Todd Fellman and Jackie Jiao – co-producers At Last – Case Study Q&A

Jackie Jiao is one of the top creative and active producers in China. He is an expert in the development, production, marketing and distribution of feature films, with a specific expertise in shooting abroad. Jiao produced Go Lala Go with Xu Jinglei, the first female director to achieve over 100 million RMB at the box-office. Go Lala Go is just a small part of his career achievements, with other titles include the fascinating film The Chef, The Actor, The Scoundrel and the remake of the same-titled TV series Eternal Moment in France. Other overseas productions include; Dear Enemy in Hong Kong and London and Somewhere Only We Know in Czech.

Jiao has several projects in development, such as; At Last, Border Line, The Seventh Life, and Perfect Love.

Todd Fellman is based in Brisbane and his company Story Bridge Films have produced a diverse slate of features including Restraint, Daybreakers, Under The Sea 3D IMAX, Bait 3D, A Few Less Men, Mental, Guardians of the Tomb and Jungle.

Fellman is currently in production on Liu Yiwei’s action-comedy At Last, an official Aus-China Co-Production in partnership with Beijing’s Monumental Films, starring Jiayi Zhang, Ni Yan, Yan Jiang, Alex Dimitriades and John Waters.

Upcoming projects include action adventure The Portable Door with The Jim Henson Company; WW2 thriller Castaway’s War with Gold Circle Films. The Neil Davis bio-pic One Crowded Hour written and to be directed by Kim Mordaunt: and epic fantasy Legend of the Moon and Sun, an official Aus-China Co-production written and to be directed by Eva Jin.

6.00 – 8.00pm Networking Event: hosted by Deb Richards, CEO of Ausfilm

Debra Richards is the CEO of Ausfilm, an Australian industry-government partnership. She has over 25 years communications & media industry experience and has been involved in screen content policy and production industry issues in Australia as regulator, stakeholder and advocate. These include local content, children’s television, classification of content, sports rights, copyright, digital conversion and new delivery platforms.

Debra was previously the CEO of the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA), the industry association for subscription television. She also spent over 13 years with the broadcasting regulator then the Australian Broadcasting Authority (& Tribunal). She is an Adjunct Professor for Boston University (Film and Media in Australia); Director of the Communications and Media Law Association (CAMLA) Board; a Director of the International Institute of Communications (IIC); Director of The Australian Chapter of the IIC; Deputy Chair of the Advertising Beverage Advertising Code (ABAC) adjudication panel; Director of Northcott and a professional member of the Australian Film Institute (AFI) and AACTA. She is also a marriage celebrant.

FURTHER READING

  • For more information about the Australian-Chinese Co-production treaty click here
  • If you would like to get in touch with any of the above mentioned screen professionals, please contact Elena Guest.