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Berlinale: IM Global’s Chinese Marketing Arm Flexes Festival Muscles

Variety logo Variety 2/10/2017 Patrick Frater
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Go Global, the Chinese marketing company established last year by Hollywood sales and finance group IM Global, is making a splashy debut at the Berlin Film Festival.

Headed by long-time Beijing resident, Clement Magar, the company is handling international media relations for Berlin Panorama film “Ghost in the Mountains,” international publicity for the first edition of Asian Brilliant Stars, a Chinese equivalent of Europe’s Shooting Stars, and personal publicity for Chinese director Xu Haofeng. Xu, director of “The Hidden Sword,” is expected to collect a major prize at the event.

“IM Global has been deeply involved in the sales of Chinese movies for some years. We established Go Global after understanding more of the needs of the Chinese industry. These include the public relations representation of Chinese films and talent overseas, corporate PR, and representation for the kind of Chinese movies that are beyond the kinds of titles that we are sellers of,” said Stuart Ford, IM Global CEO.

With its own office in the Chinese capital, IM Global currently picks up commercially-driven Chinese movies for international sales and has a relationship with China giant Huayi Brothers. It also uses Beijing as a hub for Apsara, its pan-Asian distribution operation. “It is great for us to be able to have representation, sales and advisory capacity all under one roof,” said Ford.

IM Global did not bring new Chinese titles to the European Film Market in Berlin this year, but Ford confirmed that it will have new pick-ups in time for Cannes. He also pointed to upcoming developments in its new TV production business in which it is partnered with Chinese social media giant Tencent.

These are expected to include adapting Chinese formats for Western distribution and hatching unscripted formats with Tencent.

Expanding IM Global’s Chinese activities also sits well with the group’s new ownership. China-U.S. Tang Media Group last year acquired a majority share stake in the company, taking equity control from India’s Reliance ADA Group.

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