Heritage wraps China mission with $125M in deals

Item 7, Transfilm International and Breakthrough Entertainment are among those partnering with Chinese companies on upcoming projects.

Melanie JolyMinister of Canadian Heritage Melanie Joly concluded the government’s first-ever cultural industries trade mission to China on April 13, with participating companies signing commercial agreements worth nearly $125 million, according to a government release.

In addition to the previously announced copro between Vancouver’s Rare Earth Media and Beijing’s Ray Production on a Dr. Norman Bethune biopic, Montreal’s Item 7 and Transfilm International signed an agreement with Shanghai Flying Movie and TV to coproduce the feature The Other World. 

Montreal-based Transfilm signed two other deals on the trip: one with Boehner Vision and Orient Landscape Group to codevelop a film called Pekin Man, and another with Dan Yu/PDG to coproduce an untitled feature.

Meanwhile, Corus Entertainment-owned publisher Kids Can Press signed a five-year licensing agreement to publish the Canadian children’s book series Head to Tail in simplified Chinese throughout Mainland China.

While on the five-day mission to Shanghai and Beijing, Toronto’s Breakthrough Entertainment, Hengxin Shambala Culture Co and Pukeko Pictures Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a China-New Zealand and New Zealand-Canada treaty coproduction of an animation series based on the book Hungry Bears.

Other deals announced over the course of the mission include an MOU between Ballinran Entertainment, White Pine Pictures and China’s CTV Golden Bridge International Media Group for a series of documentaries, as well as a deal between the NFB and China’s CCTV and Bilibili for more than 70 NFB productions.