China’s Film Hotel Raises $16 Million in Series A Financing
China’s Film Hotel, a movie-themed hotel chain integrating on-demand theater into hotel rooms, recently raised 100 million yuan ($16 million) in its series A financing led by IDG Capital. The funds will be used to build new hotels, upgrade equipments, and hire new talents. In addition to film-themed design and on-demand theater, the company also runs film merchandise stores in its hotels to generate revenue. Currently, Film Hotel has acquired rights to over 1000 local and foreign films. This year, the company will partner with China Film Group to expand its content pool. According to the company’s founder and CEO Jia Chao, Film Hotel currently operates about 30 hotels in China and aims to open another 200 hotels this year. Read more on ifeng.com
The 8th Beijing International Film Festival to Present Four Industry Panels
The 8th Beijing International Film Festival (BIFF), which takes place this year from April 15-22, will present four industry panels. Speakers from both China and the west will discuss, among other subjects, finding the essence of Chinese cinematic storytelling, cultivating and supporting emerging talents, revolutionizing film distribution, and developing genre movies. The last panel on genre movies will feature Franklin Leonard, founder of The Blacklist. The four panels will take place as part of BIFF’s Film Market, which opens on April 18. Read more on ent.163.com
‘Walk Past the Future’ Set to Release on May 17
Chinese arthouse film Walk Past the Future has been scheduled to release on May 17 through National Alliance of Arthouse Cinemas. Directed by Li Ruijun, the film was the only Chinese language film selected into the 70th Cannes Film Festival. Li’s previous works include The Old Dunkey, River Road, and Fly With The Crane. Walk Past the Future will be premiered in China at the upcoming Beijing International Film Festival as a highlight of the “Chinese Stories” section. Read more on Mtime
Toutiao to Start Producing Original Film and TV Series?
After its short-video apps were named and punished by China’s media regulator, media giant Toutiao might have to accelerate its efforts in producing original film and TV content. Recently, WeChat media account D-entertainment exclusively learned from related sources that Toutiao will likely announce its first batch of film and TV series this June. In recent years, China’s online video sites, such as iQiyi, Tencent Video, and Youku, have been having a fierce competition. It remains to be seen what strategies Toutiao will use to survive and thrive in this highly competitive sector. Read more on D-entertainment