Zhang Yimou about to launch a new film fund

27 August 2012 8 h 52 min Comments Off

According to Shanghai Daily, iInternationally acclaimed film director Zhang Yimou is planning to set up a 2-billion-yuan private equity fund to invest in films after he has reportedly split up with producer Zhang Weiping after a 16-year filmmaking partnership.

The news website Caixin also reported that anonymous investors have been approached by agencies inviting them to participate in the fund to be initiated by Zhang and a Shanghai company. According to the same source, the fund could raise a total of 2 billion yuan (US$314.7 million) mainly for film making and some cultural events, the website said. The Shanghai Kunhong Media Co confirmed to Caixin that it was negotiating with Zhang, but an official surnamed Wang refused to disclose further details. Film industry experts believe that if such a fund was established, Zhang would have no difficulty in attracting investors because of his international reputation

Zhang, 62, and producer Zhang Weiping have worked together on 11 films but are said to have parted company after their latest film “The Flowers of War,” starring Christian Bale. The website said rumors about the ending of the partnership had been circulating since March.

Zhang Weiping confirmed a rumor that he had left the New Picture Co studio when he gave an interview last Wednesday. He said that he hadn’t met Zhang Yimou since “The Flowers of War” premiere and that he “now has no more business with him,”.

Other news reports said the director of “The Road Home,” “House of Flying Daggers” and “Curse of the Golden Flower” had been talking to different studios in the past few months, but contract negotiations were said to have stalled. According to Caixin, Zhang rejected an offer from Beijing Galloping Horse Film & TV Production worth more than 100 million yuan. Zhang could have rejected the offer because Wanda Group had made him a better one. There are reports that Wanda offered him a deal worth a total of 1 billion yuan. A Wanda official said the number was inaccurate but refused to elaborate, Caixin said. Other source thinks Zhang’s talks with Wanda had also stalled as the director was keen to work independently.

The last films directed by Zhang Yimou

2000 Happy Times 幸福時光

2002 Hero 英雄

2004 House of Flying Daggers 十面埋伏

2005 Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles 千里走单骑

2006 Curse of the Golden Flower 满城尽带黄金甲

2007 Movie Night (Segment of the anthology, To Each His Cinema)

2009 Simple Noodle Story 三枪拍案惊奇

2010 Love of the Hawthorn Tree 山楂树之恋

2011 The Flowers of War 金陵十三钗

Sources: Caixin, China Daily, Shanghai Daily, Wikipedia (27/08/2012)

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