On December 20th,Â Yung Changâ€™sÂ CHINA HEAVYWEIGHTÂ will become the first documentary film in history to have a wide theatrical release in China. It will open in 200 cinemas across the country, on the heels of successful pre-release screenings in Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing, Jinan, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuxi, and Changzhou, throughÂ Rear WindowÂ Distribution. The release will see the film positioned alongside major fiction films in theÂ LumieresÂ andWendaÂ cinema chains, among others.Â Industry Experts in China will be watching the release as a sign of a gradual shift toward more documentary and art-house cinema releases in the country.
The film was originally designed for theatrical release in both China and Canada. An official treaty co-production between Montrealâ€™s EYESTEELFILM and Beijingâ€™s Yuanfang Media, it has qualified as a domestic film in China as well as in Canada. The film’s production has been made possible with the help of a wide range of finance and distribution partners, including Telefilm Canada, SODEC, The Canada Media Fund, CNEX, The Movie Network (Bell/Astral), Movie Central (Corus), TV5 Quebec, ZDF/ARTE, Channel 4 UK, YLE Finland, DR Denmark, NHK Japan, The Sundance Documentary Fund, EYESTEELFILM Distribution, and Kinosmith Distribution, who released the film in Canada in the spring/summer of 2012.
China Heavyweight premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2012 and went on to win acclaim and awards worldwide, including the Taiwan Golden Horse award for Best Documentary in 2013, recognized as â€œChinaâ€™s Oscarâ€.
China HeavyweightÂ is also the last film the late Peter Wintonick helped to produce, and its status and success represent for both himself and Eyesteelfilm the culmination of a series of films and efforts which have pioneered the rise of documentary cinema in China and Canada-China collaboration in this regard.