Although held in my own backyard, I haven’t attended the Beijing International Film Festival for a while. But last week I had good reason to peel myself away from work and family obligations to attend this year’s festival, for the sake of an invitation and an opportunity.
The invitation came from my friend Jan Heinze, COO of Pixomondo Beijing, to participate in Pixomondo’s “Breaking Boundaries” panel at the BJIFF on April 16th, hosted by VFX producer Tiffany Wu.
Together with my fellow panelists – Thilo Kuther (Founder & President of Pixomondo), Ivy Zhong (Chairman & CEO of Jetavana Entertainment) and Cynthia He (Head of Development at Wink Animation) – we addressed topics ranging from the blurring of boundaries between animated and live-action feature films; breakthroughs in previs, virtual production and postvis; and the new opportunities afforded creators for transmedia storytelling. I noted that advances in real-time rendering – regarded as a boon to VFX films – are a necessity for immersive media and cross reality content.
The opportunity is with our friends at Huhu Studios in New Zealand. At a BJIFF promotion and investment conference on April 18th, Huhu Studios CEO Trevor Yaxley spoke about their animated feature film co-production with China Film Animation, a division of China Film Group.
Mosley, due in theaters this July, is the story of a creature who embarks on an epic journey to find the legendary Uprights, and discovers a secret that reveals his true nature.
During his presentation, Yaxley announced Huhu’s next animated feature film co-production with our own Magic Dumpling Entertainment (Beijing): Shen Yin Tao Hua Yuan (which translates as “Hidden in the Peach Blossom Garden,” and is also known by the working English title of The Ginseng King). A sci-fi fantasy “Romeo & Juliet” tale targeted to Chinese teens and young adults, Shen Yin Tao Huan Yuan has been in stealth development at Magic Dumpling for a couple of years. After the (un)usual litany of fits and starts, it’s gratifying to finally get the property on its feet with a great production partner and the support of our film industry friends in China and around the world.
More to come…