Chinese film executives in town

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Epic tale . . . A screen shot from Farewell My Concubine, screening at Reading Cinema tomorrow, as part of the China Film Festival. IMAGE: SUPPLIED

City officials are rolling out the welcome mat this week for a high-powered delegation of Chinese film industry executives.

Dunedin hosts the first official China Film Festival this weekend, an offering of six Chinese films accompanied by some of the biggest names in the industry.

“The Chinese delegation is the equivalent of Hollywood executives coming to town,” according to Enterprise Dunedin Ara Toi arts strategy co-ordinator Antony Deaker, who is organising the visit.

“These are big name players in the industry and we are privileged to be hosting them.”

Led by Teng Junjie, of opening night film Farewell My Concubine and editor-in-chief of the Shanghai Media Group, the delegation arrives in Dunedin today.

The group includes top executives from major film and media corporations, including Joycore Picture (Shanghai) Co Ltd chief executive Dr Chen Le, IMAX Corporation chief executive Cehn Jiande, Kiantiing Pictures executive director Jin Song, Golden Concord holdings vice-secretary general Xu Zhenyu, the Shanghai Film Distribution and Exhibition Association, and more. Two Shanghai journalists are accompanying the delegation.

The visit has been organised in partnership with the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Shanghai office and the Shanghai Film Federation.

Mr Deaker said there was a busy schedule, “including a series of business meetings, networking opportunities, and activities to showcase Dunedin”.

Among the organisations to be visited by the group will be Animation Research Ltd, NHNZ, and the University of Otago.

Supported by seven translators, the delegation will also board the Dunedin Railways train to Waitati tomorrow, greeted with kapa haka by Waitati School pupils.

A visit to Orokonui Ecosanctuary, accompanied by leaders of business, the New Zealand film industry, and organisations, will follow.

Last year, Enterprise Dunedin signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Shanghai Media Group, and an MOU with the Shanghai Film Federation would be signed during this visit, Mr Deaker said.