Although the race to become the answer to the trivia question what was the first official China-NZ co-production has now been answered, Beasts of Burden has hardly being playing on an empty field.
Here’s a look at what else has been bubbling away, on and off the radar.
ZooMoo, produced by NHNZ and Singapore-based sister company Beach House Pictures, recently premiered its ZooMoo Animal Friends on China’s CCTV14. NHNZ, which has had a presence in Beijing for over 10 years, has more China co-production fare to announce soon.
ZooMoo follows Pukeko’s The WotWots on to Chinese TV screens, while Pukeko has a second pre-school kids’ show in pre-production. Kiddets was announced late last year as a deal between Pukeko and China’s Guangdong Huawen Century Animation Company.
James Heyward’s doco feature plus TV series The Colours of China is being made with Franc0-German partners Arte and ZDF.
Polly Fryer and Heyward will produce from this end, with Australian EP Michael Tear (WildBear) and Peter Chen (China Intercontinental Communication Center, CICC) completing the team.
More doco product is on the way from Hip Hop-eration director Bryn Evans and producer Paula Jones. A Season for Persimmons is a portrait of the people of Chinese village Songjiazhuang and their connection to New Zealand nurse Kathleen Hall. The Persimmons team is in discussions with potential partners in China.
NZ has a supporting role alongside the US on Daniel St. Pierre’s China-India untitled co-pro animated feature. Mark Nicholls’ Toonz (which expanded to NZ from India early last year) oversaw pre-production on the film that’s due to complete production in the next three months.
Linzi ZHANG’s drama feature Cain and Abel has former Film NZ board member Sue Thompson and China’s Joseph Hankoo KIM (Arc Entertainment) producing, which is currently awaiting approval from the Chinese side as an official co-production.
Presently in post is family feature The Wonder 3D, which has been coming for a while and gone through a number of team changes along the way. Iain Brown produces for the UK; Chinese producers are Emily GUO (Beijing Tianrun Media), Difei ZHOU and Fiona CHEN; and NZ producers are Richard Fletcher and Emma Slade.
The Wonder 3D shot in Qingdao and Auckland, and is currently at DigiPost.