Ukrainian-Chinese cooperation in media: China opens its arms

18 September 2018, 10:14

On September 17 close attention of guests and participants of KYIV MEDIA WEEK 2018 international media forum was drawn to the numerous Chinese delegation. And it wasn’t accidental: Chinese media officials, top managers and businessmen have come to the Ukrainian capital to establish not really tight for the time being but doubtless promising connections. To discuss the results of cooperation for the previous year and to determine common interests, goals and directions of further partnership, “Focus on China” panel gathered the highest officials and the most successful businessmen from both countries. 

All event participants without exception agreed that Ukraine and China have huge prospects to implement joint projects. Presently Ukraine is in the negotiations stage with China Film Co-Production Corporation (CFCC) about signing a bilateral co-production agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and P.R.C. Government. And, as executive director of Ukrainian Motion Picture Association Victoria Yarmoschuk pointed out today during the roundtable, it turns out there are going to be two co-production agreements, not one: on film production and on joint TV production.  

We have to note that Chinese and Ukrainians started considering each other as partners in a more or less serious vein about a year ago. In September 2017, during the previous KYIV MEDIA WEEK, cooperation agreement was signed between Ukrainian National TV and Radio Company and China Radio International (CRI). Though only little time has passed (for intergovernmental relations to shift in this or that direction), there are already several promising joint projects.

In particular, FILM.UA Group (Ukraine) struck a deal with Stellar Mega Group (China) on co-production of a military drama feature Flaming Eagle. The film’s production budget is 25 million USD, and the release is planned for 2020. 

Besides, FILM.UA and China International Art and Business Alliance work on an adventure romcom feature Ukrainian Treasure (film budget 2.5 million USD). The premiere is planned for 2019.

In 2017, Ukrainian company For-Post signed with its Chinese counterpart a production agreement for joint feature film Silk. The project will familiarize the audience with Ukrainian and Chinese cultures. It is planned to make a series out of it (eight episodes or more). 

In March 2018, Kyiv hosted filming of a Chinese detective series The Golden Eye. It is produced by iQIYI, one of the biggest Chinese video-platforms. The production service in Ukraine was organized by Golden Fleece studio. 

For the sake of justice, it is worth noting that Ukrainian-Chinese cooperation started much earlier, as commercial companies do not have to check for the availability of intergovernmental co-production agreements to implement joint projects, much less to sell exciting content abroad. Ukrainian audiovisual content sold to China includes feature and animated films (Battle for Sevastopol, The Stronghold, The Stolen Princess), series (The Sniffer) and animated series The Eskimo Girl, Cossacks. Football, Cossacks. Around the World and The Adventures of Kotyhoroshko and His Friends, program cycle The Great Dreamers, and TV show formats Crack Them UpGo Dance!and Claim to Meladze.

Panel participants agreed that in the future cooperation between Ukraine and China will grow even closer. And one of the most promising aspects of possible international cooperation is the creation of joint animation projects.