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Creative incubator to display tech savvy at Hollywood festival

By William Hennelly | China Daily USA | Updated: 2016-11-24 12:08

Hanhai Studio is looking to bring a little Silicon Valley to Hollywood.

The creative production and technology incubator and the Los Angeles Film School will co-host the first Hollywood Entertainment Technology Festival (HETF) on Dec 1 at the film school.

Hanhai is a joint venture of Beijing's Hanhai Zhiye Investment Management Group, Xinhua Mobile TV and Tsinghua University Planning and Design Institute for Creative Industries.

Established in January 2015, Hanhai provides a platform between Chinese creative production companies and Hollywood through training, incubation and investment.

Creative incubator to display tech savvy at Hollywood festival

The studio occupies 80,000 square feet in Burbank, California, close to Warner Bros, Disney, Universal and The Cartoon Network. The company brings together Chinese and American creative production and technology companies to collaborate on production, animation and technologies.

"The development of the Chinese film industry and the tremendous interest in entertainment and technology acquisition have accelerated the market needs for creative production and technology incubation," Wang Hanguang, chairman of Hanhai International and Hanhai Studio, told China Daily via email.

"It's such a good phenomenon that both countries are coming together to work on projects and learn from each other's culture and films," he said.

Kelly Zhang, Hanhai chief operating officer, said the incubation center is focused on three core businesses: training, project development and startup investment.

She said the festival will look "to connect the best resources across the border in entertainment technology, which has never been done before".

"The ties between Hollywood and China are expected to grow in the future, and the Los Angeles Film School is looking forward to future cross-cultural collaborations," said Diana Derycz-Kessler, president and CEO of the school.

More than 200 preselected startups will compete to win equity investments at the festival. Each startup will have the chance to pitch judges and investors from China and the US live on stage. The top three winners will receive $100,000, $50,000 and $30,000, respectively, of equity investment after the competition.

Zhang said the competition will feature "many young movers and shakers in the industry, some are Chinese, some are Americans; it's exciting to see them utilizing our incubation platform to reach out and connect with venture capital investment and each other".

Jian Liu, Chinese consul general in Los Angeles, and Burbank Mayor Jess Talamante will speak at the opening ceremony.

Keynote speakers scheduled are Zvi Greenstein, general manger of Nvidia; Max Epstein, vice-president of content strategy at DMG Entertainment; Hong Mei, chairman of the International Film Alliance and president of the Greater China for Canada Global Media Investment Inc; and Bennett Pozil, executive vice-president of East West Bank.

China has become the world's second largest box office, and it's expected to surpass the US by as early as 2018.

The country is also expanding its investments in entertainment and deepening its business ties with Hollywood and the American film market, as evidenced by Wang Jianlin's Dalian Wanda Group's recent 40 percent subsidy offers to Hollywood studios if they film on his Qingdao lot.

Wang has spent $4 billion buying Hollywood holdings alone this year, including Dick Clark Productions, producer of the Golden Globe Awards.

Wanda also owns the AMC Entertainment theater chain, which on Nov 15 received approval from Carmike Cinemas Inc shareholders for its acquisition by AMC. While the deal still must be approved by the US Justice Department, AMC is now the world's largest theater chain.

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(China Daily USA 11/24/2016 page2)

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