WEST PACIFIC EXECUTIVE ROLES
As the post-merger restructuring continues, Warner Bros. Discovery has appointed Gillian Zhao as president of its China operations. Tony Qiu is appointed SVP head of commercial, Western Pacific. Both positions report to James Gibbons, president and MD, WBD, in the Western Pacific region, which it defines as Japan, Australia, New Zealand and China, and spans the group’s portfolio, including pay-TV, free-to-air television, theatrical, studios, direct-to-consumer and consumer products.
A Warner Bros. veteran, who was named as Warner’s EVP in China in 2016, Zhao’s task is to lead “the strategic growth of WBD’s theatrical, TV distribution, home entertainment and local theatrical production businesses in China.”
Qiu’s position is described as a “new regional role with oversight of key lines of revenue for Western Pacific.” In addition to ad sales and games management in China, Qiu will also lead the consumer products business in China, Australia and New Zealand and be expected to drive the international ad sales function for the region as a whole. In June this year he was named as part of Clement Schwebig’s executive lineup in WBD’s India, Southeast Asia and Korea group with additional responsibility in China.
“The combination of assets in Western Pacific markets creates significant creative and commercial opportunities across our diverse WBD portfolio,” said Gibbons in a statement.
BRIDGING THE GAP
Producers’ association Bridging the Dragon is to expand its remit from attempting to build bilateral relations between China and Europe, into a China-Europe-Asia role. The new axis will kick off this weekend during the latest edition of its annual producers’ lab, to be held in Mallorca, Spain, Nov. 25-28.
“Over the past two years, events have made working with China more and more difficult. At the same time, contents from other Far Eastern countries have become increasingly popular internationally. Streamers such as Netflix or HBO, have made Asian TV and movies appreciated in the whole world. More and more international and Chinese companies are now seeking to work with these active and creative new players. In order to meet their needs, the association decided to enlarge its platform,” said BTD in a statement.
Participants form Asia at the weekend session will include Kim Hyoun-soo (Korean Film Council); Ikeda Kaori of Tokyo’s TIFFCOM market; Jennifer Jao (Taipei Film Commission); Nomin Erdene Gereltuya (Mongolian Film Commission) and Singapore producer Chan Pui Yin. Chinese participants including Wang Qiao (New Classic Media) are expected to join via video links.
European executives with Asian interests participating are expected to include: Silver Bear winner Andamion Murataj (AL); Germany’s Frauke Kolbmueller of Oma Inge Film (silver bear winner “System Crasher”); Michael Frenschkowski of Terra Mater Factual Studios (Austria); and Italy’s Stella Savino (MIA Film).