Imax forms 10 film fund with China Media Capital

MUMBAI: Continuing to expand its footprint in the Chinese market, Imax Corporation has created the Imax China Film Fund with its subsidiary Imax China and China Media Capital, to help fund a minimum of 10 tentpole films in Mandarin.

The China Film Fund, which will be capitalized at up to $50 million initially, will target productions that can leverage the Imax brand, relationships, technology and release windows, with the flexibility to produce Imax and non-Imax content, and develop original films or co-finance studio productions.

Led by CMC founding chairman Ruigang Li, China's prominent media and entertainment focused investment fund, acquired a 10 per cent interest in Imax's China subsidiary in 2014.

The intent of the China Film Fund is to leverage favorable current trends in the Chinese market, strengthening the Imax brand and capitalizing on relationships across studio, exhibitor and local distribution partners, as well as content creators. The Fund also is meant to support an existing slate of successful Chinese Imax DMR product including such past titles as The Monkey King and Dragon Blade, and leverage CMC's experience within China's content-creation industry.

“For more than a decade, Imax has strived to be and continues to work toward being a part of the Chinese entertainment ecosystem,” said Imax CEO Richard L. Gelfond from Shanghai, where he delivered a keynote address at the Shanghai International Film Festival.

“This fund is the next step in that evolution as it allows us to join with our good partner CMC and work closely with the country's top filmmakers to bring to Chinese audiences and to export to international audiences top-quality Mandarin content,” Gelfond added.

“CMC has witnessed, and been part of, the exciting development of China's film industry through this most dynamic time with a series of strategic investments. We are determined to continue this effort, and we believe that by teaming up with our partners such as Imax, which has world-class industry leading technology and an extensive global network, we will be able to create a technology-driven force that is unique and immensely helpful to China films' realizing their full potential in the global market,” added CMC chairman Li.

“Imax is committed to continuing our growth in China and meeting the rising demand of Chinese audiences for premium content. Coupled with the significant expansion of the Imax theatre network in China, totaling more than 205 Imax screens to date, the establishment of this Imax China Film Fund points directly to our pledge to help grow the Chinese film market,” said Imax China CEO Jiande Chen.

Through the Fund, Imax China and CMC will be able to provide new digital content to theatres throughout China, as well as to select theatres in Imax's global network. The Fund will target contributions of between $3 million and $7 million per film, and will operate under an Imax-CMC greenlight committee. The Fund is also in discussions with additional investors.

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