China and Denmark Sign Co-Pro Agreement
Denmark becomes the first Nordic country to sign a film co-production agreement with China during Danish PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s official visit to Beijing on May 3.
As the first Nordic nation to sign with China, the Danish government’s co-production agreement gives film projects from both countries access to national film support and the countries’ theatrical markets.
The Danish-Chinese co-production agreement means that a Chinese film can apply for funding from the Danish Film Institute and that Danish films co-produced with Chinese partners will not be subject to the Chinese import quota of max. 38 foreign films a year, but instead will be on the same footing as Chinese films and have the same access to the large Chinese film market.
The agreement was negotiated by China’s SAPPRFT (State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television) and the Danish Film Institute. DFI CEO Henrik Bo Nielsen signed the agreement Wednesday at a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Nielsen says: “The agreement will be important to both parties, both economically and culturally. A co-production agreement will make it easier for Danish companies to get access to the enormous Chinese theatrical market, where even small Danish films can reach quite a large audience.
“The DFI’s international department has been working on the agreement for a long time and we are sure that Danish companies will be able to seize the opportunities. Culturally, too, there is something to be gained. The encounters that take place when we exchange and cooperate on art and culture are both inspiring and necessary for mutual understanding and good relations across national borders.”
Several Danish film players already have partnerships with China. TrustNordisk and Copenhagen Bombay have ongoing development projects, the LevelK sales company has opened an office in Hong Kong and Bille August is ready with a Chinese feature film about World War II, The Chinese Widow.
Moreover, it was recently announced that the Danish feature The Shamer’s Daughter, directed by Kenneth Kainz, recently passed through the eye of the needle into China, whose quota system only allows 38 foreign films to open in Chinese cinemas every year. That has only happened once before, when Kasper Barfoed’s The Candidate accomplished the feat in 2008.