A Boost for Chinese Cinema

Imax China and China Media Capital recently announced that they have formalized the $50 million Imax China Film Fund that they unveiled one year ago. They are now planning to co-finance 15 Mandarin-language films in the next three years. They will contribute $3-$7 million per project.

Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said, “Our strong relationships with China’s most acclaimed studios and filmmakers mirror those we’ve established in Hollywood, thanks to the support of our valued partner CMC,. The fund will further deepen our ties in the China film industry and allow us to generate the highest-quality Mandarin content for Chinese and international audiences alike. Our commitment to the success of our business in China and its filmmaking community is unwavering. Together, we are excited to launch a new and exciting chapter of filmmaking in China.”

Li said, “The fund is an outgrowth of CMC’s privileged capability and extensive connections in the Chinese film industry and Imax’s beloved brand and differentiated cinematic experience. We hope this will support the creation of more tentpole Mandarin-language films.”

Honorary Doctorate from the Academy of Art University

Some people simply complain when they don’t see something that works for their own children, religion, or culture. Others simply invent it. Rajeev Chilaka falls into the second category. As an alumni of the Academy of Art University, he used his skills while working for Green Gold Animation TV Pvt. Ltd. to create a widely popular series called “Chhota Bheem.”

Launching the series in 2008. He started it as a result of the lack of Indian cartoons that he saw that catered to the Indian population. And he particularly wanted to cater to the population under 14. So, as he explained, “We decided to come up with an ideal character that could teach good values to children.”

Today, this character, Bheem, is watched by 40 million children every week and appeals to people of all ages. It has some of the highest consistent rating for a television show across India. When asked about his success, Chilaka credits the Academy of Art University with inspiring him and helping him to develop his skills.

Recently, Chilaka was presented with an honorary doctorate from the Academy of Art University. Certainly, a well-deserved honor for this talented man.


New Study About China

A recent study conducted by academics from Boston University and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has found that Chinese development finance institutions have doubled the amount available in such finances in the world economy in a decade.

As the study, authored jointly by Kevin Gallagher (professor at BU) and Rohini Kamal (FEFI) and Wang Yongzhong (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences) explained, “China is emerging as the global leader in development finance.

As Professor Gallagher said, “In terms of scale, Chinese finance is a major foot forward. All the talk in the development world is of the need to move from ‘billions to trillions’ in order to transition to a more low-carbon and equitable world economy.”

Learn more about the study and about China’s advancements.

Adam Roseman Discusses the Chinese and US Entertainment Industries

Adam Roseman, CEO and Co-Founder of FansTang, the largest provider of localized international entertainment content in China, discussed with Phoenix TV some of his ideas on how best to bridge the gap that exists between the entertainment industries in China and the USA.

Roseman believes that the opportunities that present themselves today in China are greater than they have ever been before in history, particularly in the entertainment industry. However, Roseman says, there is a large difference between the reality of the market, and the perception. The last 12 months, especially, have exacerbated the gap between perception and reality, due to the large number of new companies that have entered the marketplace. Companies that are coming into the entertainment industry now, whether on the China side or the US side, are coming into the marketplace a bit naïve. As Roseman explains, “It is easier to see the opportunities than to properly understand the challenges.”

Roseman continued: “China and the US are tremendous economic powers, but they both operate very differently from a cultural perspective. And that cultural difference in particular is amplified when you are talking about the entertainment sector. In Hollywood you have a lot of very strong personalities; a lot of arrogant people; a lot of people who could be described by the expression, ‘Their way or the highway.’ But in China things are just done differently. In China, in the entertainment sector as well, there are a lot of very powerful people. They have been very successful and are now entering the entertainment industry. These people are not used to being told ‘No.’ Getting these two parties, who come from such different backgrounds, to work together in a seamless fashion, is just challenging.”

Roseman says that bridging the gap between the two entertainment super powers is just a question of experience and understanding. Over time, he says, the market will grow dramatically. However, because of the large number of new entrants into the entertainment market, the perception of growth will outpace the reality.

Asia Week NY Attracts Expansive Attention

Museum curators around the world flocked to the recent Asian art extravaganza held in New York.  Asia Week New York – which took place between March 10 and March 19 – attracted museums representing a wide range of art.

As Chairman of the event, Lark Mason noted:

“Despite headlines of the Chinese economy affecting Asia Week New York, the galleries saw steady traffic throughout the week, and the four major auction houses including Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, and Sotheby’s saw sales that were robust.”

And by the turnout of museum curators, he was right.  There were 45 top-tier global Asian art specialists, five major auction houses, 16 museums, including:  the Asian Art Museum The Brooklyn Museum, The Laurence Miller Gallery of New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Newark Museum, the San Antonio Art Museum and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, to name but a few.

Brothers Ali Aboutaam and Hicham Aboutaam were at the event as co-owners and representatives of Phoenix Ancient Art. Their gallery display comprised artifacts from their US and Swiss galleries including a Chinese Bronze Buckle with Monkeys, Chinese Terracotta Figure of a Kneeling Court Lady and Chinese Wooden Figure of a Court Lady. In addition, visitors were given the opportunity to benefit from tours prepared by Alexander Kruglov, their archaeology specialist.

The week was been very good for many museums.  Laurence Miller – representing his museum at the week-long event for the first time, had a very positive experience too.  He said: “Numerous museum curators visited our gallery and we made sales to several of them including the Nelson-Atkins Museum.”  Similarly, Alexander Gherardi of Phoenix Ancient Art said that the gallery was “able to reach the Asian art crowd that we have never interacted with before, and received very complimentary responses, which was quite validating for us since Chinese art isn’t our main area of expertise as our focus is on Western Mediterranean and Egyptian antiquities.”

And, of course, there was the success of Sotheby’s, the art broker that took home $55.2 million in sales!

The Far East Loves Mackies Ice Cream

Apparently people in the Far East love Mackies ice cream. Sales have quadrupled in the most recent financial year and profits have more than doubled. The company admits that these sales were quite a surprise, according to managing director Mac Mackie.

The firm has supplied ice cream to South Korea since 2002 and has been selling ice cream in South Korea with Costco.

As Mr. Mackie said, “Korea has really taken off last year and hopefully carrying on this way. It has been a surprise, to be honest. Dairy products are very popular across the whole marketplace. Because Korea has done so well we are now supplying Taiwan from this year.”

Most Lucrative Jobs For Those In Singapore

A recent survey by the top three universities in Singapore has found that the median salary for degree holders rose to $3,200 for the graduating class of 2014. That’s a 5% increase over last year. Unemployment rates are consistently lower than 3% in Singapore.

According to GET.com, here are the 10 best paid jobs for degree holders in Singapore.

10. Quality Assurance

9. Research and Development

8. Property Management

7. Corporate Affairs

6. Finance and Accounting

5. Production

4. Project Management

3. Information Technology

2. Legal

1. Engineers

Learn more and see the full descriptions.

Netflix Comes to Japan

The Japanese market is abuzz with the news that Netflix, the streaming video provider, is coming to the Japanese market.  They entered the New Zealand and Australian markets in March of 2015 and they will be launching in Spain, Italy and Portugal in October. Their goal is to achieve a presence in 200 countries by the end of 2016.

As Reed Hastings, chief executive officer at Netflix said, “With its rich culture and celebrated creative traditions, Japan is a critical component of our plan to connect people around the world to stories they love. As we expand into Asia, we’re excited Netflix members increasingly will have access to some of their favorite movies and TV shows no matter where they are.”

Netflix plans to open a regional office in Tokyo. As Gregory K. Peters, who will be the general manager of Netflix Japan said, “It is an honor to bring Netflix to Japan, and we’ll work hard to please consumers there. People in Japan soon will have access to great entertainment from all over the world for a low monthly price, while our more than 57 million members will benefit from increased access to great Japanese films and TV shows.”


Financial Times Selling to Nikkei

Pearson is selling the Financial Times to the Japanese media group Nikkei for £844m in cash. The British company will hold onto FT Group’s 50pc stake in the Economist. It will also keep its building on the south bank of the Thames.

As Pearson’s chief executive, John Fallen, said, “Pearson has been a proud proprietor of the FT for nearly 60 years.

“But we’ve reached an inflection point in media, driven by the explosive growth of mobile and social. In this new environment, the best way to ensure the FT’s journalistic and commercial success is for it to be part of a global, digital news company.”

Read the whole story and more on the agreement.

Hong Kong Approves Government Spending for City Crossing

Hong Kong lawmakers have approved for the government to spend HK$17.5 billion to construct the city’s 7th crossing to Shenzhen. They discussed the idea for three weeks before coming to their current conclusion. This money will be put with the already approved HK$16.25 billion that was approved in July 2012.

Legco’s Finance Committee backed the funding after the 26-10 approval. Learn more about the process and the conflicts that arose around it.