Hanhai to work with Hollywood Film Festival

September 28 2015,

By Hezi Jiang in New York(China Daily USA)

Hanhai Studio, the first Chinese creative production incubator in the United States, will collaborate with the Hollywood Film Festival (HFF), it was announced this week. Through cross-cultural content production, the goal is to connect talent, investors and audiences between the US and China.

The news came shortly after Hanhai announced another venture, with Monarex Hollywood Corp and the LA Shorts.

To minimize risks for its investors, many likely to be from China in the near future, Hollywood Film Festival established a five-year “HFF 2020 Fund” with the support of the Morgan Stanley Impact Investing Platform and created an accountability board.The fund office is going to be housed in Hanhai Studio’s 80,000-square-foot facility in Burbank, California.

“We see frustration on both sides: Hollywood in its ability to finalize deals with China, and China in its ability to connect to Hollywood directly,” said Kelly Zhang, chief operating officer of Hanhai Studio.

“We are creating a zero-distance platform through training, incubation and investment, and HFF is providing a foundation to do that with its social impact mission global community of artists, cultural leaders and impact investors.”

The mission of HFF is to tell stories that can change the world. “We look for independent films or television or streaming content that has a great social and cultural message to help fuel more dialogues in our culture, especially between countries,” said Brad Parks, the festival’s CEO and executive producer.

“I spent 15 years living in London, traveling around the world, meeting different cultures, and learned we are all very similar at the end of the day.”

“And yet, because of our cultural differences, our nations sometimes have a challenge talking to each other. Film is a great medium to share that global dialogue.”

Two China-focused feature films will be shown during this year’s festival opening on Sept 23: Angel of Nanjing, a documentary by a Western crew about a Chinese man who prevented more than 300 people from committing suicide from the famous Yangtze River Bridge in Nanjing the past 11 years, and 12 Citizens, a narrative feature directed by Xu Ang from Beijing. Inspired by the famous 12 Angry Men, 12 Citizens tells the story of a Chinese jury in a murder trial.

For Hanhai Studio, all the works of these emerging filmmakers are potential intellectual properties. “We will connect and incubate them from script to screen,” said Zhang.

Mayor of Sanya City Visited Hanhai Studio

Yanjun Wu, the mayor of Sanya City, led a group of Chinese delegates to visit Hanhai Studio at Burbank on Monday morning just after their arrival in Los Angeles. Mayor Wu said that they came to Los Angeles to seek the cooperation opportunities with Hollywood for Sanya’s future Animation and Creative Production Park. He treated Hanhai Studio as an ideal platform and springboard for Chinese investors because Hanhai Studio is a bridge between China and Hollywood.

Yanjun Wu (middle), the mayor of Sanya City at Hanhai Studio


Sometimes referred to as “the Chinese Hawaii”, Sanya is the southernmost city on Hainan Island, and one of the three prefecture-level cities of Hainan Province, in Southeast China. According to the 2010 Census, the population of Sanya is of 685,408 inhabitants, living in an area of 1,919.58 square kilometres (741.15 sq mi). The city is renowned for its tropical climate and has emerged as a popular tourist destination.

Short Film Festival, Hanhai go to school

September 02 2015,

By Hezi Jiang in New York(China Daily USA)

The Los Angeles International Short Film Festival will collaborate with Hanhai Studio, the first Chinese creative production and technology incubator in the US, by creating a film academy at the studio’s facility in Burbank, California.

“We reached out to them (Hanhai Studio) a month ago, and things moved quickly,” said Robert Arentz, founder of the LA Shorts Fest. “We signed the agreement and moved to the space about a week ago. And now we are meeting teachers and instructors.”

The first course, titled Parlaying Your Short Into a Feature, will be offered in October.

Founded by Arentz in 1997, LA Shorts Fest is one of the most prestigious international short film festivals in the world and the only with seven award categories recognized by the Academy Awards.

It started with a series of short films projected onto a wall on a quiet weekday night in a club, where people had to stand up and watch the films. Now it boasts a 265-film lineup at the Regal Cinemas at L.A. Live, adjacent to the Staples Center.

The purpose of the festival is to encourage young filmmakers, many of whom are students, to improve their craft.

“You can’t look at the great filmmakers of today and look at their first two films and say, ‘Wow! This filmmaker is destined for greatness. This filmmaker is going to be the next Steven Spielberg,’ ” said Arentz. “Filmmaking is a craft. It’s developed over time. It’s learned by doing it again and again.”

The experience of seeing one’s film on a big screen before an audience motivates the filmmakers to persevere. It’s a way to tell young artists that the low-budget guerrilla-style film they put all their time and efforts is not all there is.

That’s also why the LA Shorts Fest decided to found the LA Shorts Film Academy with Hanhai Studio, to help talented filmmakers get to the next level.

The program will offer a variety of courses, including producing, directing, script-writing, documentary, narrative and animation. Master class, short-term training and a US-China exchange program also will be offered to meet China-Hollywood market needs.

For this year’s festival, from Sept 3-10, more than 30 films from China were submitted, with more shorts sent by Chinese filmmakers studying or starting a career in the US.

“It’s about time China connects its creative production and technology with Hollywood,” Wang Hanguang, chairman of Hanhai Zhiye, wrote to China Daily. “Chinese movie producers and directors are enthusiastic about making movies to introduce China’s rich history and culture to the West, especially Hollywood, and many are trying to connect and learn directly from producers, directors and cinematographers from Hollywood.”

“There is much more to get excited about in terms of the partnership,” Arentz said. “And we are thinking of opening something in China.”