The new China’s Wuxi Studio appoints Sid Ganis

17 April 2011 22 h 44 min 6 comments

On thursday 14th April, the new film production facility, the Wuxi Studio, named Sid Ganis, a Hollywood executive and former President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, honorary chairman for development and promotion.

His appointment as chair of the Wuxi Studio Development and Promotion Committee, was announced by Zhu Weiping, Party Secretary of Wuxi Binhu district Standing Committee. She made the announcement from the grounds of what will be the China’s first designated digital film industrial park. One of the task of Sid Ganis will be to help the new movie production facility by introducing American film companies wishing to work in China.
Chinawood, as the project’s been dubbed, is largerly funded by the local government of the city, which Forbes named 2008′s third-best business city in China and is supposed to be open at the end of this year 2011. Nicknamed “Little Shanghai” because of its proximity to China’s commercial hub and its rapid urbanization and booming economy, Wuxi is a city of 4.5 million habitants at 45 minutes northwest of Shanghai by speed train.“Wuxi could become a destination for international filmmakers”, Ganis said to the Hollywood Reporter.
“Hollywood’s always looking for another place to accommodate its productions and save costs, from nice hotels to nice sound stages and new and different locations,” said the former vice chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and president of Paramount Pictures, who first visited China three years ago in his role as head of AMPAS.  And the new honorary chairperson for development and promotion to add: “I’m an old-time studio guy, so I get what they’re trying to do. Everything will be there in one location, and that’s very appealing.”
Construction at Wuxi began in September 2010 with the support of internationally renowned architectural firms MSI and Gensler responsible for completing the master planning and architectural design. “Phase I should be completed by end of 2011″, Ganis’ office said. 

Phase I consists of converting an old steel mill into six soundstages and space for numerous post-production facilities.  Phase II will include five additional soundstages and will be completed in three to five years, during which time the park expects to be fully functioning.
Wuxi, Ganis said to THR, will become “a mirror of what one might do here in Los Angeles, but not quite. It’ll be even more, because it’s meant to be all disciplines in one location.”
Built on the shores of Lake Tai, Wuxi city, best known as home of the largest solar panel manufacturers on earth, has long been home to a production base built by China Central Television in 1987, which churns out hundreds of TV dramas a year.
“Wuxi operators hope to include companies that offer digital pre-production, production and post-production services as well as traditional disciplines including license approval, shooting, location scouting and distribution”, Ganis’ office said. Other Wuxi tenants could include visual effects, CG animation, cloud computing, software and hardware and R&D companies, as well as training facilities in various disciplines.
“Instead of needing to post in other countries, filmmakers will now be able to complete their films in China at Wuxi Studio,” Ganis said. “We are just at the beginning of this exciting enterprise, and are inviting the international film community to set up satellite facilities at Wuxi Studios and participate in this opportunity.”
Zhu, for her part, said, “China’s creative community wants to work closely with the international film world to make Wuxi Studios a world-class hub for the creative community.  With China’s current box office growth, we want to have a park which can provide all the elements to support the vast digital world.”
Ganis is working on Wuxi business development with Rita Cahill, a former marketing vp at Cinesite and a founding organizer of the Singapore International Film Festival.

SOURCES: Shanghai Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Wuxi Studios (14/04/2011)


. Ganis to head Wuxi Studio (Film Business Asia, 15/04/2011)

. Shanghai computer animation studio seeks international productions  (wantchinatimes, 17/04/2011)

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