The developer planning to build a film studio at Quinn's Junction on Monday indicated it had reached an agreement with a Beijing firm to have a Chinese presence at the studio complex, something that they hope will advance the industry on both sides of the Pacific.
Quinn's Junction Partnership, the developer of the complex, expects to partner with a firm known as National Film Capital of China. The firm is described as a state-run company that manages funds. The announcement was made through a release on the letterhead of National Film Capital Co., Ltd. The letterhead is written in both English and Chinese.
The announcement indicates the two sides "have established an agreement to explore specific areas of strategic partnership." It also says the partnership would be National Film Capital of China's first of its nature with a film studio in the U.S. According to the announcement, an agreement could involve a National Film Capital of China representation office at the studio and a role in setting the strategy for what is being called an International Film School on the premises.
The sides are also in discussions about increasing incentives to bring filmmakers to the studio at Quinn's Junction.
"We look forward to exploration of all areas of strategic cooperation with Park City Film Studios. We see a fine opportunity to combine our respective strategic interests in particular areas of interest," the chairman of National Film Capital of China, Bu-ting Yang, said in a prepared statement released as part of the announcement.
Greg Ericksen, whose family trust owns Quinn's Junction Partnership, said in an interview National Film Capital of China will open an office at the studio complex to represent the Chinese film industry. The release says China has become the world's second largest box office for movies.
"This is a real opportunity for everybody," Ericksen said.
Ericksen said the Chinese firm will not manage the studio. Raleigh Studios, a Hollywood studio, has long been identified as the anchor of the project. Ericksen on Monday declined to discuss Raleigh Studios in the context of the announcement involving the Chinese firm.
A representative of Raleigh Studios was not immediately available for comment. A Beijing-based representative listed as a contact on the announcement did not immediately respond to an e-mail message seeking comment.
Mayor Dana Williams on Monday said he had not been briefed on the agreement. Williams has attempted to strengthen relations between Park City and China, traveling to China twice during his time in office. During his most recent trip, in 2012, Williams spent part of his time promoting Park City as a tourism destination.
Ericksen last spring narrowly won an approval from Park City leaders to annex into Park City a little more than 29 acres of land for the studio complex. The acreage sits at the southwest corner of the U.S. 40-S.R. 248 interchange east of Prospector. The studio complex is the key part of the 374,000-square-foot project. A hotel, entertainment center and a digital-media center are also expected to be built as part of the project.
Ericksen said at the time of the approval Raleigh Studios had signed a 20-year lease with a renewal option after the first 20 years. He also said at the time Raleigh Studios had "significant equity" in the project.
He said on Monday a groundbreaking date has not been set.