17/01/2020 - 14:19

Legend Media receives Chinese approval for first film

17/01/2020 - 14:19

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Local film production company Legend Media Group has gained Chinese approval for its first Australian-Chinese co-production feature film Outback Dragon, slated to start filming in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Perth later this year.

Legend Media receives Chinese approval for first film
Legend Media director Paul Lakey, Truly Sense Media president Hou Li, WA-China trade commissioner Stuart Crockett, Bronwyn Barnes and Camille Chen at the Beijing Film Festival last year.

Local film production company Legend Media Group has gained Chinese approval for its first Australian-Chinese co-production feature film Outback Dragon, slated to start filming in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Perth later this year.

The Chinese approval paves the way for the Outback Dragon project to advance to the final stage of assessment and approval by Screen Australia.

Legend chair Bronwyn Barnes told Business News Chinese government approval was a critical milestone.

“It means that the project is de-risked from a China perspective, so if you have co-production approval, you know that your project is essentially ready to screen in China once it’s complete,” Ms Barnes said.

“One of the barriers for films going into China, if they are a production from another country and China hasn’t had the chance to review the script and review the content and themes, there is usually a significant re-edit of the film before you can release it in China. 

“The advantage of having a co-production approval up front is that you can then de-risk it and go straight to screen.”

Ms Barnes said that the project also recently received a significant boost with China and Hong Kong-based production house Er Dong Pictures Group taking a majority interest in the production.

She said Er Dong was collaborating with Legend’s Chinese media partner, Truly Sense Media, to finance the Chinese component of the film.

The project has a total production budget of $14 million, with Australian project partners to contribute $4 million to its development.

The majority of filming for Outback Dragon, an action-adventure comedy, will take place in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, while other scenes will be shot in Perth, Ms Barnes said.

“There has been a significant amount of consultation that’s already taken place in Kalgoorlie, with the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, the Chamber of Commerce & Industry up there and also with local indigenous groups,” she said.

“This film has quite a high level of Aboriginal content, we have an indigenous adviser who was engaged in the concept and script development. 

“We did that consultation last year and we had a tremendous response from the local community across the board.

“I think this is a project that really caught the imagination of the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, because it’s combining all of the things that we know and love about Kalgoorlie.”

Outback Dragon is one of three films Legend has in the pipeline, a trilogy Ms Barnes described as love letters to Western Australia.

“The second one, Chasing Waves, is a production we are looking at shooting down in Margaret River,” Ms Barnes said.

“That’s an opportunity to showcase that part of the world to China, and the third part of the trilogy is a project called Chinese Daughters, which we’d love to do in the Kimberley. 

“It’s very much around trying to showcase different parts of the state and engage a Chinese audience that may not have the opportunity to travel here. 

“What people forget is that there are 1.4 billion Chinese, and not all of them are going to come to WA, but they would love to have an understanding of what goes on here.”

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