By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 27, 2011 at 12:33PM
Relativity Media's landmark alliance with China's Huaxia Film Distribution Company could make all the difference for the company's success going forward. That is if they make the right movies. Low-budget comedy 21 and Over is the first of many projects that Relativity plans to shoot and co-finance in partnership with Sky Land, their new production and distribution entity run by Relativity, SAIF Partners and IDG China Media.
Principal photography on scenes in China began shooting in Linyi, Shandong on October ￼26, 2011. Check out this friendly quote from the local dignitary Zhang Shajun, Party Secretary of Linyi Municipal Committee of the Chinese Party of Communism (CPC), who is identified as more important than the mayor:
“Linyi is a beautiful city and we welcome international filmmakers to come to Linyi to make beautiful worldwide films, and particularly welcome my good friend Ryan Kavanaugh and his great company Relativity to be shooting in our historic city. We promise to provide the best service possible in order to help make the movie successful worldwide.”
21 and Over stars Miles Teller (Footloose), Justin Chon (The Twilight Saga), Skylar Astin (Taking Woodstock) and Sarah Wright (The House Bunny). Written and directed by comedy writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (The Hangover), the film is about two long-time buddies who drag a straight-arrow chum to celebrate his twenty-first birthday-- the night before a crucial medical school interview. Needless to say a wild misadventure ensues.
Joining the Relativity and Sky Land production as producers are The Fighter producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman (Mandeville Films) and Andy Yan of SAIF and Hugo Shong of IDG in association with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Produced (Limitless). The film has already started filming in Seattle, Washington, with additional filming under way in Linyi, Shandong.
Sky Land is a fully-funded, vertically-integrated film and multimedia production, distribution and financing company. It was previously jointly owned and controlled by SAIF Partners, a leading Asian Private Equity Firm, and IDG China Media, a China-focused investment arm of Boston-headquartered International Data Group. Relativity Media joined as an equal owner as part of their new endeavor and business plan to develop, produce, distribute and acquire Chinese material that also possesses worldwide appeal. The strategic alliance announced with Huaxia makes this joint venture the first and only government sanctioned pact. Huaxia is the largest distributor of film in China and one of the most respected film companies in the country releasing such titles as Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, the Harry Potter franchise, Transformers, Kung-Fu Panda, Fast Five, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, 2012, Alice in Wonderland and Sherlock Holmes. Sky Land also oversees and is partnered with a China-based RMB fund to co-invest in local film and television content and production, which is the equivalent of $100 million US dollars. Most recently, it co-produced Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, inspired by the worldwide best-selling novel by Lisa See, with screenplay penned by Academy Award® winning writer Ron Bass (Amelia) and directed by Wayne Wong (The Joy Luck Club).