Preview – Focus on China
For the Focus on China Session, CMC Session Producer Maggie Liang asks “Is co-production with China possible?”
China is a huge market. It has more than 50 broadcasters and thousands of production companies. Big and scary? Or a bigger pool, with lots of opportunities. It depends on your point of view . This is my third year at CMC, and I’ve encountered lots of UK children’s content talent at the Conference – some of who have the real intention to expand their international reach – especially to China.
This year my company The Media Pioneers is bringing a group of Chinese content commissioners to the International Exchange and to the Conference to meet new people and explain the Chinese market for kids’ content. There’s another group coming from a production company looking for co-pro partners, under the advice of Alex Chien, who is an independent kids’ media consultant based in Beijing.
I am producing and Alex is hosting the Focus On China session and our panelists are representatives from our guest companies – so there’ll be broadcaster and producer perspectives – plus a viewpoint from a UK animation company experienced in working with Chinese partners.
Our plan is to help you equip yourself to expand your international market into a nation of 1.3 billion people.
However, the Chinese market is a bit like a rose with thorns. There is quite strong censorship and other regulations that limit the amount of overseas content that can come in. For example, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT, aka SARFT) just launched a new policy which stresses that reality shows should promote Chinese values while offering “positive energy” and having an “educational purpose”.
How to get around these barriers?
Co-production helps by bringing you much closer to a local sensibility and sensitivity. To achieve co-production partnerships you need to understand what Chinese production companies and broadcasters are looking for in their partners – what talents, what skills. One tip – get in early in the project life. Co-pro with China works from the earliest possible stages of development. We’ll take some time in the Focus On China session to outline the business routines, the attitude to development, what’s looked for in production talent, and how funding and distribution works in China.
We hope you’ll come away with a better understanding of the demands when making a co-production with China, and of the benefits. By the end of the session, we want you to know how to get your IP loved by Chinese audiences and how to make the partnerships you need to achieve that.
Are you ready for co-pro with China?
MD and Producer
Shenzhen Media Group
Head of Shenzhen Children's Channel
Beijing Children's Channel (KAKU)
The Media Pioneers UK