Co-productions on the Chinese mainland are regulated by China’s State Adminstration of Radio, Film & Television (SARFT) through a combination of applications, approvals and oversight at the provincial and national levels.
Television co-productions can proceed under any of the three following models:
- JOINT PRODUCTION: in which the Chinese party and the foreign party jointly invest capital, provide personnel & resources, and share profits & risks.
- COLLABORATIVE PRODUCTION: in which the foreign party invests capital and provides key personnel, while the Chinese party provides labor services, resources and locations.
- ENTRUSTED PRODUCTION: in which the foreign party invests capital, while the Chinese party is responsible for production in its entirety.
The application & approvals process varies depending on the co-production models, with requirements that are variably stringent and vague.
Studios solely looking for distribution in China will be attempting to enter the market as a foreign property, regardless of their content’s cultural cues, and subject to a different set of regulations and restrictions.
More to come…