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Wanda Sets IP Venture With Tencent, Unveils Huge Production Slate

China’s Dalian Wanda group Monday unveiled a strategic cooperation pact with Internet giant Tencent,. The agreement stretches from cooperation in film to VR and games.

The property to entertainment giant also pulled back the curtains on its own 20-plus film production and investment slate and a slew of first look deals with local producers.

The deal with Tencent will put an accent on the recruitment of key talent and directors to develop intellectual properties, dubbed an intelligent people strategy. It ropes in Tencent Pictures, Tencent Games, Wanda Pictures and Tencent’s online literature platform China Reading.

Both announcements were unveiled on the sidelines of the Shanghai International Film Festival. The glitzy event which boasted visiting celebrities including Julie Delpy as well as industry partners, was held in the group’s newly opened 7-star Wanda Reign hotel in the fashionable Shanghai riverfront district known as The Bund.

Wanda Pictures signed first look deals with IDO Culture, Sainos Entertainment, Hairun Pictures, Transcend, Rosat, ShoPro and Dynamic Media. It also announced a relationship with the China Film Directors Guild.

Upcoming film titles included: “Oh Young,” “Trouble Makers,” Tencent’s animation “One Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes 2,” “Father and Son,” “Evil Minds,” “The Last Party,” “Crossing The Bridge,” “Guns and Kidneys” and “Lobster Cop” and Lucida Entertainment’s “Love is a Broadway Hit.”

The scale and bravura of the announcements give an indication of the company’s continuing confidence and long-term optimism about the growth of the Chinese film industry and also of Wanda’s position within it — despite the dramatic box office slowdown of the past 12 months.

The company also used the forum to tub-thump its massive studios complex in the coastal city of Qingdao. Some 15 of its planned 30 stages are currently in operation. The facility sits adjacent to a condominiums, hotels, schools and hospitals developments also built by Wanda.

In attendance were also executives from AMC, the market-leading U.S. cinemas chain that Wanda bought in 2012 and Sunny Pawar, the child star of “Lion” which will release in China from June 23.

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