Bridging the Dragon: From Shanghai to Locarno
- CANNES 2015: Ten projects have been selected for the first Sino-European content lab, comprising two four-day residential workshops before the next Shanghai and Locarno film markets
The process of bridging the European and Chinese film industries is related to the need to find content that can be appealing to both markets, and which can overcome the differences in terms of culture, language and the market.
With this in mind, Bridging the Dragon is organising the first Sino-European content lab. The programme will consist of two four-day residential workshops before the next Shanghai and Locarno film markets.
The chosen projects were announced on Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival. The lab will invite five projects from Europe and five from China that are already suitable for co-production or co-financing. Writing and packaging tutors such as Huan Shu, the writer of the box-office smash Lost in Thailand, and Alex Z Jia, head of development at New Culture Beijing, will support the attendees (in teams consisting of an author and a producer) on story structure, believability of the setting in relation to the other co-producing side and the feasibility of the co-production.
At the end of the programme, the ten projects will be publicly presented during the Locarno Industry Days.
The projects selected for this first edition of the lab cover a variety of genres and hail from many different countries, but they all have one thing in common: a strong position on the current market.
The European projects are:
(From the UK) THE RIVER DRAGON PRINCESS, produced by French-UK producer Christopher Granier-Deferre (Poisson Rouge Pictures). A Chinese girl is sent off to boarding school in Britain, where she is bullied for being different. She falls into a pond and discovers a fantastical world of princesses and dragons, and will learn to overcome her tormentors by being proud of who she is.
(From Holland) The family film GIZMO, about the adventurous journey of an ambitious advertising star, a talking dog who eventually realises there is more to life than mere success. Produced by Column Film.
(From the UK) The adventure-drama THE NAVIGATOR, produced by UK-South African outfit Spier Films, which tells the story of Chinese admiral Zheng He's initial arrival in East Africa in 1435. He will be drawn into local rivalries, love and war, risking the fate of an empire.
(From Germany) THE SPEED BREED, by German production company MovieBrats Pictures, in which a former racing-car champion who turned his back on the sport must team up, against his will, with a rookie hot-shot driver to compete against a variety of eccentric teams in an epic car rally across China.
The Chinese projects are:
The political thriller THE PROVING GROUND by Thunder Communications Int'l. A washed-up Chinese reporter and a European biochemist team up to investigate claims of a biological weapons attack on Chinese soil.
THE TRIBULATION OF A CHINESE IN CHINA by award-winning director Yiyang Zhang. A fantasy and comedy adventure inspired by the writings of Jules Verne. Set in the late Qing dynasty, it revolves around the life and adventures of a rich, young Chinese man with a scientific dream.
TOFU CHEESECAKE by young talent Xiaoxin Yang, who has already attended past Berlinale and Cannes programmes. In the film, romantic and gastronomic differences bring together a modern Chinese city girl and a happy Swiss farmer.
KING OF SHADOWS, directed by Malysian-Chinese filmmaker Yoki Chin, a charming, heroic animated tale about a young king, depicted by means of shadow play, a dying Chinese craft.
PARIS, MY PARADISE by promising young director Jia Hu. It centres on the love and conflicts that exist between a Chinese and a Turkish family living in Paris. The project was put forward by FIRST, the independent Chinese festival for young talents.
Bridging the Dragon is an association connecting European and Chinese film professionals. It is supported by Creative Europe – the MEDIA sub-programme, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the Italian Ministry of Culture (MIBACT), the Netherlands Film Fund, the BFI, D'Hive and the Goethe-Institut China. The festival partners are the European Film Market, the Locarno Film Festival and the FIRST International Film Festival.