Nottingham sets sights on China's 'new' Hollywood for collaboration

10 May 2013 15:16:09.110
PA 154/13

Experts from The University of Nottingham are set to travel to China later this week to explore potential new international collaborations with the country’s burgeoning film and television industries. They will meet leading Chinese creative industry figures and promote opportunities for postgraduate study at the University’s Institute for Screen Industries Research (ISIR).

The 16-member delegation from Nottingham’s flagship campuses in the UK, China and Malaysia will include Thomas A Walsh, award-winning Hollywood production designer for the US hit TV show Desperate Housewives and former President of the Art Directors Guild of America.
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Leading the delegation will be Professor Chris Rudd, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Knowledge Transfer and Business Engagement. Professor Rudd said:

“The international film industry is going through a period of transition and the developments in China offer us many exciting opportunities to develop partnerships and collaboration in the region. This Creative Industries Mission will build on the strong track record we have for working with leading studios and award-winning filmmakers.”

The West’s attempt to break into the world’s fastest growing film industry was recently underlined by the announcement that Pinewood Shepperton, home of the James Bond film franchise, is seeking to expand its production services into China by signing a joint venture agreement with the media group Seven Stars.

Dr Gianluca Sergi, Director of ISIR, added:

“The Chinese screen industries have grown significantly in the past few years and look set to make China one of the key powers for the foreseeable future, while Hollywood remains the global reference point for filmmakers and studios alike.”

This week’s visit by the Nottingham delegation will begin with a Global Screen Industries International Competitiveness Forum, hosted by Shanghai Jiaotong University and co-organised with The University of Nottingham and East China Normal University, which takes place on Monday May 13.

Professor Julian Stringer, Internationalisation Officer for the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies and Associate Professor in Film and Television Studies, said:

“The forum will aim to map future developments of the Chinese screen industries and forge partnerships between Hollywood and Chinese and UK leading universities to increase global competitiveness.

“The event will offer opportunities for 1-2-1 sessions between academic and industry leaders to discuss partnerships to deliver world-leading projects on production cultures, working practices and creative collaboration.”

While in Shanghai the delegation will engage with leading media companies such as the Shanghai Film Group Corporation, Oriental Dreamworks, Shanghai Interactive TV (SiTV), and the Shanghai International Film Festival.

Professor Rudd and his colleagues will also be seeking to develop academic networks and will be signing memorandum of understandings for future educational collaboration with a number of Chinese higher education institutions.

Jointly hosted events are on the agenda in Nanjing with Nanjing University and Nanjing Jinling College (on 15 May) and in Guangzhou with Sun Yet-sen University and Guangdong University of Business Studies (on 16 May).

Mr Walsh, also an honorary professor at The University of Nottingham, will join members of ISIR on Saturday 18 May for a research forum on Creativity across Borders at the University’s Ningbo campus. One of the Mission’s key aims is to encourage the recruitment of talented Chinese graduates to work within the global screen industries.

The Institute for Screen Industries Research, based within The University of Nottingham’s Department of Culture, Film and Media, is the first ideas incubator and innovation generator for the film and TV industry based at a UK university and offers an unmatched resource for talent development and audience testing.

The institute has recently launched a new MA in Film, Television and Screen Industries which is designed to train the industry pioneers of the future and will give participants an in-depth working knowledge of the film business including studio operations, production development, marketing & branding, audience intelligence and international markets.

This aims to be the latest collaboration with Chinese industry for The University of Nottingham, which has seen its portfolio of partnerships grow in recent years through its Asia Business Centre. [For further information, see Notes to Editors]

More information about the Institute for Screen Industries Research is available online at 

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Asia Business Centre

The Asia Business Centre has developed a number of partnerships with China-based industry:

• AVIC (China’s biggest aerospace business) has signed a £3 million initial research contract, with significant growth potential.
• FAW (One of the major Chinese car manufacturers) agreed a £1 million research contract, with further work being discussed.
• Wahaha (China’s biggest soft drinks manufacturer) signed a Memorandum of Agreement for research with the University.
• China South Rolling Stock (CSR, China’s largest manufacturer of trains) has contracted the University to deliver the International High Potential Development Program for its executives.
• Romax (a UK-based company with offices in China) is moving to The University of Nottingham’s Innovation Park in a deal worth £5.6 million, creating 100 new jobs.
• Changan (one of China’s biggest car makers) set up a research base in Nottingham to work with the University’s Faculty of Engineering
• Sondrel (UK-based integrated circuit design consultancy, with two offices in China) will work with The University Of Nottingham Ningbo campus to deliver a multi-million pound three-month training programme to plug a skills gap in China’s domestic integrated circuit industry.

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Julian Stringer, Associate Professor, Culture, Languages and Area Studies at; Emma Thorne, Media Relations Manager in the Communications Office,+44 (0)115 951 5793,; or Katherine Lakeland, International Media Relations Manager, +44(0)115 846 7156, 
Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

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