Pinewood Studios forms strong Chinese bond

Pinewood Shepperton has entered into a joint venture with the Chinese media giant Seven Stars Media.

Pinewood Shepperton has entered into a joint venture with the Chinese media giant Seven Stars Media.

The UK studio, famed for providing the backdrop to most James Bond films, will work with its new partner to make co-productions of Chinese films and television, develop financing for productions, create film-themed entertainment venues, and create a "skills academy" in the People's Republic.

Pinewood provide its expertise and a "limited" amount of capital investment for the venture, called Song Lin as it means Pine Forest in Mandarin.

Seven Stars, which is owned by Chinese media mogul Bruno Wu and is one of the largest and fastest growing media conglomerates in the country, will add local knowledge of a Chinese filmed entertainment market that is expected to almost double to $7.4bn by 2016.

Wu said Seven Stars local knowledge and scale combined with Pinewood's operational skills and international reputation will enable the joint venture to benefit from China's "content explosion".

Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive Officer of Pinewood, said: "The Chinese market for content is the fastest growing in the world and taking Pinewood's experience and skills to that market in partnership with such an established and successful local partner is a truly exciting prospect."

He added that the joint venture represented a strategic step forward for Pinewood's international development that, if successful, "could provide significant opportunities for UK film and television producers".

Prime Minister David Cameron also commented on the deal, saying that Pinewood was "leading the way" among UK media companies taking advantage of China's thriving entertainment and media sector.

OH

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