Tag Archives: Steven Spielberg

Alibaba Pictures, Amblin to co-produce films for global, Chinese audiences

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Paul Tait and Clelia Oziel

BEIJING: Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners and Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd, the film unit of Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said on Sunday they will co-produce and finance films for global and Chinese audiences.

They will also collaborate on the marketing, distribution and merchandising of Amblin Partner films in China, the companies said in a joint statement.

Amblin Partners creates film, television and digital content under the Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks Pictures and Participant Media brands.

Big Chinese companies including Dalian Wanda Group Co are looking to bring more Western films and movie-making prowess into China even as they seek to expand their footprint in Hollywood.

China’s masses have the ability to keep Hollywood movies afloat, industry watchers say. They expect China to soon surpass the United States as the world’s biggest movie market.

This year’s ‘Warcraft’, which was a box office flop in the United States, raked in hundreds of millions of dollars in China, making it one of the country’s highest-grossing films of the year.

“Some of the stories I’m hoping Jack and I can tell in this new partnership between Amblin Partners and Alibaba Pictures will be able to bring Chinese-themed stories to the American audience, and we can do co-productions between our company and your company,” Spielberg said at a briefing in Beijing.

“And we can bring more of China to America, and bring some more of America to China.”

Hong Kong-listed Alibaba Pictures has yet to release any films, although the company formerly known as ChinaVision Media Group Ltd has several projects in production.

Alibaba Pictures began investing in Hollywood films in 2015 with its stake in ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’. It was an investor in this year’s blockbusters ‘Star Trek Beyond’ and ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows’.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group paid about US$800 million for a controlling stake in ChinaVision Media in 2014.

Under the terms of the partnership, Alibaba Pictures will also acquire a minority stake in Amblin Partners, which is chaired by Spielberg, the award-winning U.S. movie director and producer.

Dalian Wanda, the conglomerate controlled by China’s richest man Wang Jianlin, is partnering with Sony Pictures under which Wanda will market Sony Pictures’ films and co-finance some upcoming movie releases of Sony Corp’s film unit in China.

In January, Wanda paid US$3.5 billion for a controlling stake in U.S. film studio Legendary Entertainment. The group has also since said it would start co-investing in global blockbusters next year.

“I heard a lot of people say the movie industries are dead. I think that’s a lack of imagination,” Ma said at the briefing. “All the cinemas in the future are going to be changed because of technology. So people will definitely have all kinds of experiences watching movies.” – Reuters

(Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com)

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Watch: Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Kobe Bryant & More Salute John Williams

Back in June, movie maestro John Williams took to the Dolby Theatre stage in Hollywood to accept the AFI Life Achievement Award before an audience of his closest friends and collaborators — including award presenter Steven Spielberg, who has collaborated with the composer on more than 25 projects.

The night’s starry guests and speakers also included actors Drew Barrymore and Harrison Ford, STAR WARS directors J.J. Abrams and George Lucas and basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who shared a unique anecdote about what Williams’ music means to him.

The televised special, AFI LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: A TRIBUTE TO JOHN WILLIAMS, was broadcast on TNT in June 2016 and will air again on TCM on September 12 during a night of programming dedicated to Williams.

The September 12 TCM lineup, including presentations of AFI LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: A TRIBUTE TO JOHN WILLIAMS and the 2011 special AFI’S MASTER CLASS: THE ART OF COLLABORATION – STEVEN SPIELBERG AND JOHN WILLIAMS, will be as follows:

  • 8:00 p.m. – AFI LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: A TRIBUTE TO JOHN WILLIAMS
  • 10:15 p.m. – JAWS (1975)
  • 12:30 A.M. – AFI’S MASTER CLASS: THE ART OF COLLABORATION – STEVEN SPIELBERG AND JOHN WILLIAMS (2011)
  • 1:30 a.m. – AFI LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: A TRIBUTE TO JOHN WILLIAMS
  • 2:45 a.m. – THE COWBOYS (1972)
  • 5:15 a.m. – GOODBYE MR. CHIPS (1969)

 

44th #AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute to John Williams

For the first time in AFI history, America’s highest honor for a career in film will be bestowed upon a composer. John Williams will receive the 44th AFI Life Achievement Award in 2016.

Watch John Williams as he discusses scoring George Lucas films!

“John Williams has written the soundtrack to our lives,” said Sir Howard Stringer, Chair, AFI Board of Trustees. “Note by note, through chord and chorus, his genius for marrying music with movies has elevated the art form to symphonic levels and inspired generations of audiences to be enriched by the magic of the movies. AFI is proud to present him with its 44th Life Achievement Award.”

John Williams’ storied career as the composer behind many of the greatest American films and television series of all time boasts over 150 credits across seven decades. Perhaps best known for his enduring collaboration with director Steven Spielberg, his scores are among the most iconic and recognizable in film history, from the edge-of-your-seat JAWS (1975) motif to the emotional swell of E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982) and the haunting elegies of SCHINDLER’S LIST (1993). Always epic in scale, his music has helped define over half a century of the motion picture medium. Three of Williams’ scores landed on AFI’s 100 Years of Film Scores — a list of the 25 greatest American film scores of all time — including the unforgettable STAR WARS (1977) soundtrack, at number one. With five Academy Award® wins and 49 nominations in total, Williams holds the record for the most Oscar® nominations of any living person.

Williams will be honored at a Gala Tribute on June 9, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. The AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute television special will air on TNT later that same month, followed by an encore presentation on Turner Classic Movies.

For information on tickets or tributes, please contact Amy Campbell at 323.856.7676 or acampbell@afi.com.

(Source: AFI Press Release)