Production company Bearcage has, this week, signed a co-production agreement to produce the two-part documentary series The Tale of Two Cities with Beijing Television.
“As the first formal co-production between Beijing Television Channel and an Australian company, the project represents an initiative of great significance to both countries,” said Executive Producer, Bearcage’s Michael Tear, speaking from the Sichuan TV Festival in Chengdu.
Serge Ou, Creative Director of Bearcage, noted that “co-operation between the Australian and Chinese screen sectors is an important step in strengthening the screen industries in both countries.
In A Tale of Two Cities a photographer from Beijing will travel to Canberra to create an exhibition about the Australian capital and its people. A photographer from Canberra will travel to Beijing to make matching stories of the Chinese capital. In the episodes their stories will be blended, giving audiences an entertaining, unique and often surprising insight into these two cities.
Michael Tear, Managing Director of Bearcage, and Serge Ou, Creative Director of Bearcage, attended the contract signing in Chengdu. Also in attendance at the signing were the Director of Beijing Television Documentary HD Channel Mr Chen Dali, Ms Nancy Gordon, Australian Consul-General and Chris Oliver, Manager of State and Industry Partnerships at Screen Australia and other members of the Australian Screen Industry delegation to China.
This new project for Beijing TV builds on the recent success Bearcage has had in China with Story of Australia, a co-production with CCTV9 broadcast to an audience on 21 million and which earned the praise of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Bearcage, winner of the ACT Chief Minister’s Export Award in the Arts and Entertainment Category in 2012 & 2013 and an Arts in Asia Award for its work in China, has more than 20 years of experience in production. It specialises in film, television and digital media production for the Australian and international broadcast markets, focusing on high quality documentaries and factual programs.
In the past three years Bearcage has reviewed its business strategy and focused on the international television markets, particularly emerging markets. Since 2010 the international side of the business has grown rapidly and Bearcage has either co-produced or had projects acquired in China, Germany, France, the UK, the US, Malaysia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Middle East, Taiwan and Canada.
Recent productions include six part series Building Australia for FOXTEL’s History Channel (nominated for A Screen Producer Australia Award), The Boffin, the Builder and the Bombardier for ABC (nominated for an ATOM Award for Best Factual Series) five part series New Zealand From Above, a co-production with Making Movies (NZ), GebruderBeetz (Germany) and broadcasters ARTE/ZDF (Germany), National Geographic (Australia) and Prime (NZ). The feature documentary The Digger (2011, History Channel) received the Gold Dolphin at the Cannes Corporate Media and Television Award in 2011. Other programs include the ASTRA Award nominated documentary For Valour – the highest rating program on the History Channel in 2009; the 10-part series As Australian As (2010, Bio Channel); and Blessed Mary: A Saint for All Australians – a landmark docudrama for the History Channel that was the highest rating program on that Channel in 2010.
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