Film, TV insiders convene in LA

Updated: 2014-09-16 11:13

By Cindy Liu in Los Angeles(China Daily USA)

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What do you get when you put the top heavy-hitters from the world's top two film and TV industries under one roof?

Crush of the Titans?

Close, it's called UCFTI.

More than 1,000 people from film companies, independent production firms, and investment groups from the US and China attended the first US China Film and TV Industry EXPO (UCFTI) at the Los Angeles Convention Center which ends on Tuesday.

Founded by president and CEO Bianca Chen, UCFTI featured panel discussions involving important topics in the film and television industries.

"I hope my job can help to make more film agreements between the US and China. There are so many jobs created by the film industry," said US Representative Judy Chu at the opening ceremony on Sept 14. "China is the second largest film market in the world. It is so exciting to explore the opportunities for each other. Remember collaboration is the key."

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti welcomed all the Chinese companies to the EXPO and future investment from China.

"Film is about people and content. I believe tomorrow's chapter is going to be written by people in Los Angeles and China together," he said.

Former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been a backer of UCFTI since last year. "UCFTI is the important step to push forward the people-to-people diplomacy and the journey to a better understanding of one another," said Villaraigosa.

Lisa Lu, honorary chairwoman of UCFTI, said: "When I first arrived in the US in the 1950s, Chinese actresses were undervalued and stereotyped. We were a dragon lady, a restaurant waitress, or a factory laborer. Now Chinese filmmakers are influential in the world. "

Lu is known to Western audiences for her role in The Last Emperor (1987) and widely recognized as one of the first Chinese-American actresses that opened the door for Asians to work in Hollywood.

UCFTI presented a series of awards to Chinese companies in the film and TV industries. Universal Studio received the Best Production Studio Award. China's Huayi Brothers received the Best Distribution Company Award. China's LeTV received an award for the Best Online Streaming Network.

UCFTI showcased equipment, hardware, software and service providers from the US and China. Panel discussion topics included the process of making films in China, the business bridge between China and Hollywood, and how a great script is created.

Industry experts and influential deal makers from the two countries shared their experiences in how to succeed in bridging the two largest film markets.

At Monday's panel discussion on the art of deal-making in China, Hollywood film experts shared their insights on partnerships with China.

Steve Ransohoff, co-president of Film Finance, a firm which provides infrastructure for western filmmakers to access China's resources, said: "I can tell you that the secret why those who make their work done in China are that those people know the system of China."

Stephen Scharf, managing partner of the law firm O'Melveny & Myers LLP, found that challenges in making a production deal in China often come from the negotiation process.

"I found many Chinese people are just not familiar with American business negotiations," said Scharf. "Which raises another issue - translation."

Film, TV insiders convene in LA

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti delivers the keynote speech at the 1st US China Film and TV Industry Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Monday afternoon. He said he hoped Los Angeles becomes the second home to all the Chinese filmmakers and encouraged collaboration between the US and China in the entertainment industry. Cindy Liu / China Daily

(China Daily USA 09/16/2014 page2)