Magazine article Variety

Euros Target China Links

Magazine article Variety

Euros Target China Links

Article excerpt

DENMARK

Hollywood film execs aren't the only ones with Chinese stars in their eyes ... the Scandinavians seem to have suddenly discovered the country as well.

Zentropa, the Danish production shingle co-founded by Lars von Trier, is prepping to launch Zentropa China, in partnership with a local player whose name the partners will reveal in September or October. The new banner will produce films primarily for the Chinese market, said Rikke Ennis, CEO of TrustNordisk, Zentropa's international sales/ distribution vehicle.

The first pic on Zentropa China's slate is a romantic comedy in the vein of "Ugly Betty," centering on a young Chinese girl who gets a scholarship to attend college in Denmark, where she writes a thesis on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales. The pic will have a Chinese director.

Co-producing with China presents various incentives, allowing foreign players to tap into China's booming theatrical and VOD markets and bypass its revenue-sharing import quotas.

Although TrustNordisk has never had success in the territory, Ennis said that Chinese audiences know Danish films quite well. "They know the talents we have here. Plus they're fond of Hans Christian Andersen's literature," he maintained. "There's room for us to thrive in China, as we have a good track record at delivering reasonably budgeted romantic comedies with good concepts and characters that have a mainstream appeal. …

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