White Pine, Ballinran partner with Chinese media co on doc slate

The Canadian prodcos signed a memorandum of understanding with CTV Golden Bridge International Media Group during Canada's trade mission to China.
April 12, 2018

Toronto’s White Pine Pictures and Stratford, ON-based Ballinran Entertainment have signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s CTV Golden Bridge International Media Group to jointly develop a slate of documentary projects.

First up is a doc on the creation of Cirque du Soleil’s upcoming show, which will be unveiled in Hangzhou, China in 2019. The doc will be directed by Canadian filmmaker and former Rhombus Media founding partner Barbara Willis Sweete, who previously directed performing arts productions such as The Metropolitan Opera HD Live. 

Also in the works is a China/Canada travel exploration series, though further details were not revealed. The documentary projects will be developed for both the Canadian and Chinese markets, as well as international platforms.

The agreement was announced during Canadian Heritage’s first-ever creative industries trade mission to China. It was witnessed by Minister of Canadian Heritage Melanie Joly, her Chinese counterpart Mr. Luo Shugang, Minister of Culture and Tourism and Jonathan Tétrault, president and COO of Cirque du Soleil.

“This creative collaboration reflects China’s desire to boost the quality and appeal of their documentary entertainment output by developing projects that appeal to audiences both in China and around the world,” said Craig Thompson, president of Ballinran, in a release.

“The relationship with Golden Bridge developed as a result of a chance encounter at Hot Docs in 2017 that led to an initial meeting at our offices in Toronto,” added Peter Raymont, president of White Pine Pictures.  “It demonstrates the importance of events like Hot Docs in facilitating international partnerships, which are now essential to creating successful and entertaining programming.”

The deal with Golden Bridge was facilitated by Wei Hu of Ballinran Entertainment.

Photo (L to R:) Wei Hu, Consulting Producer, Ballinran Entertainment; Peter Raymont, President, White Pine Pictures; Craig Thompson, President, Ballinran Entertainment; Hon. Melanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage; His Excellency Luo Shugang, Minister of Culture and Tourism, People’s Republic of China; Lynette Zhang, Deputy Director and Chen Xin, Chairman, CTV Golden Bridge International Media Group; Jonathan Tétrault, President and Chief Operating Officer, Cirque du Soleil; and Zhiyi Liu, General Manager, CTV Golden Bridge International Media Group.

From Playback Daily

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.