iQiyi Nabs Rights to ‘Moonlight,’ ‘La La Land’

Oscar favorites will soon be available to Chinese fans on demand.

Chinese film fans will now have the chance to see Oscar’s Best Picture winner Moonlight, albeit on smaller screens than they were able to see its rival in that category, La La Land.

Video streaming service iQiyi announced Tuesday it had secured exclusive streaming rights to Academy Award-winning films Moonlight and La La Land as well as the best foreign language film, The Salesman.

The company says it now has the largest online library of licensed films in China after snapping up the rights for premium films and inking deals with Lionsgate and 20th Century Fox.

In February, the company, which is the video subsidiary of Chinese internet company Baidu, raised US$1.53 billion in new funds to help it compete with rivals in the country’s hotly contested online entertainment sector.

iQiyi’s competitors include video services backed by Alibaba-owned Youku Tudou, and Tencent. Foreign competitors such as Netflix and Amazon have been effectively blocked from competing in the country.

On Tuesday the company announced that The Summer Is Gone, the Zhang Dalei-directed art film which iQiyi Pictures acquired last year, had been selected to screen at the New Directors/New Films Festival in New York on March 15.

The black-and-white film set in Inner Mongolia in the 1990s won the best picture award at the Taipei Golden Horse awards in late 2016, as well as best new performer for 10-year-old actor Kong Weiyi. It’s set to hit cinemas in China on March 24.