Paddington Bear And His Filmmakers are greeted by HRH the Duke of Cambridge at Gala China Premiere
A family comedy adaptation of the Paddington Bear series of books, starring Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Peter Capaldi, Jim Broadbent and Ben Whishaw as the British voice of Paddington himself, held its grand Chinese premiere at Shanghai Film Museum on March 3rd, on the occasion of HRH The Duke of Cambridge’s visit to China to open the GREAT Festival of Creativity in Shanghai. The film releases on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK from 23rd March.
Director Paul King (Bunny and the Bull, The Mighty Boosh) and producer David Heyman (Gravity, the Harry Potter series) walked the red carpet with celebrated Chinese actor Chen Xuedong (Tiny Times) who voices Paddington in the Chinese version of the movie. The crowd gave a very warm welcome to Paddington himself who was present for his Chinese debut, and warmer still for the Duke of Cambridge upon his arrival.
“We couldn't be happier to bring our cinematic adaptation of Michael Bond’s Paddington to China and to share his generous spirit with Chinese audiences” said producer David Heyman on the red carpet, with director Paul King adding “Paddington is the story of a young bear who travels around the world to find a warm welcome and a friendly home. We hope Chinese audiences will greet him with open arms, as others have done around the world”.
Also in attendance on the red carpet was Rt Hon Sajid Javid, MP and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in the United Kingdom, who was in Shanghai to launch the first UK-China Year of Cultural exchange "It's brilliant to see a much-loved British story like Paddington being celebrated and appearing on the big screen in one of China's most prestigious film museums. Throughout this Year of Cultural Exchange we can look forward to more events such as this, showcasing UK culture in China and Chinese culture in the UK."
Paddington Bear is a fictional character in children's literature. He first appeared on 13th October 1958 in ‘A Bear Called Paddington’ and has subsequently featured in more than twenty books written by Michael Bond within the Paddington Bear series. The friendly bear from deepest, darkest Peru — with his old hat, battered suitcase, duffle coat and love of marmalade - has become a classic character within the literary world, and one who is instantly recognizable. Paddington books have been translated into 30 languages across 70 titles and have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. Paddington Bear’s story has also been made into animated TV series three times.
The film, a mix of family comedy, live action and CGI, has been produced by David Heyman, who brought the Harry Potter books to the screen, and was fully financed by STUDIOCANAL. The film follows the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear who travels to London in search of a home.
PADDINGTON was released in the UK on November 28th 2014 to a fantastic reaction from critics and audiences alike, as well as huge box office takings. The film opened in the top spot in the UK box office, grossing $8 million (£5.1 million) over the opening weekend, making it STUDIOCANAL’s highest opening ever and the second highest grossing film of 2014 in the UK. The film was released in the United States on 16th January 2015, earning $19.2 million. Globally the film has now amassed a total of over $223 million, making the film the biggest non-US Studio family film of all time.
Rotten Tomatoes sampled 119 reviews and judged 98% of them to be positive. The site states that the film works "without sacrificing his essential charm, delivering a family-friendly adventure as irresistibly cuddly as its star." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 77 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating generally favorable reviews.
PADDINGTON was joint-imported by Huaxia Film Distribution Co. LTD., Stellar Mega Films Co. LTD. and JQ Pictures, and will be released on March 5th throughout China. The film will be released in the UK on DVD and Blu-Ray on March 23rd by STUDIOCANAL.
While in China, director Paul King and producer David Heyman will also be participating in various talks about their experiences with PADDINGTON and within the UK film industry at the GREAT Festival of Creativity.
© Paddington and Company Limited/STUDIOCANAL S.A. 2014
Paddington Bear™ and Paddington™ are trademarks of Paddington and Company Limited
Image Prince William and the film team are joined on stage by Chen Xuedong, the Chinese voice actor for Paddington.
Images Prince William meets local children, who were winners of a competition to design costumes for Paddington to wear during his visit to China.
STUDIOCANAL is a subsidiary of the CANAL+ Group. It is one of Europe’s leading companies in the market for co-production, acquisition, distribution of international feature films and TV series. STUDIOCANAL is the only studio operating simultaneously in the three main European territories - France, the United Kingdom and Germany - as well as in Australia and New Zealand. Additionally, STUDIOCANAL owns one of the most important libraries in the world, with more than 5,000 international titles.
STUDIOCANAL has developed strong international production ambitions.
It fully financed BAFTA winner TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY starring Gary Oldman, the Coen’s INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, Jury’s Grand Prize winner at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival; International block buster NON-STOP directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, with Liam Neeson. More recently the studio also invested in THE GUNMAN directed by Pierre Morel with Sean Penn, Javier Bardem and Idris Elba; MACBETH starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard ; BASTILLE DAY with Idris Elba; Stephen Frears’s film about Lance Armstrong’s story strarring Ben Foster and Guillaume Canet.
Finally STUDIOCANAL distributed THE IMITATION GAME in France and in the UK, and the record breaking HUNGER GAMES saga in Germany.
STUDIOCANAL also is very involved in family and animation films. PADDINGTON, released in December 2014 produced by Harry Potter’s producer David Heyman, is a world success. SHAUN THE SHEEP, Aardman Animations’ famous character, will start its big screen career this year. But also ERNEST & CELESTINE, Best Animated Feature César winner and Academy Award nominee, amongst many other prizes and nominations.
Moreover STUDIOCANAL has an exclusive deal with Belgian company nWave, a European leader in 3D production (SAMMY’s adventures, HOUSE OF MAGIC…)
Finally STUDIOCANAL is also actively developing into international TV series, strengthening its position as a European leader in content.
2015 marks a flagship year for UK-China relations with the first ever bilaterally agreed UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange. Underpinned by a government-to-government agreement set out at the UK-China Summit in London last June, the Year comprises two seasons of culture – a UK season in China from March until July, led by the British Council; and a Chinese season in the UK in the second half of the year, led by the Chinese Ministry of Culture. The UK Prime Minister’s visit to China in December 2013 (during which the UK-China Cultural Agreement was renewed), the High Level UK-China People to People Dialogue in Beijing in April 2014 and the UK-China Summit in June 2014 all demonstrate the growing strength of UK-China relations, with creativity and cultural exchange at the heart of developments. The UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange will be an innovative showcase of great UK culture in China and Chinese culture in the UK. The UK season will see a carefully curated series of contemporary, adventurous, multi-disciplinary and innovative works, with digital media at the heart. Groundbreaking digital arts will push creative boundaries, whilst the launch of a major online arts portal will enable audiences to engage through a variety of integrated platforms. For China, it is the first Chinese state-level cultural festival to be held in a Western European country that is aimed at highlighting China’s modern cultural creativity.
For more information on the 2015 UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange, visit www.uknow.org.cn
The Shanghai Film Museum
As one of the official partners of the ‘GREAT Festival of Creativity’, Shanghai Film Museum is a unique and influential platform for cultural exchange of film in China. Accented by the cradle of Chinese film and its scintillating hundred-year progress, Shanghai Film Museum endeavors to inherit the tradition and spirit of film industry in Shanghai, as well as in China, in order to glorify traditional film art. Meanwhile it is also dedicated to becoming a significant exhibition window for contemporary film art and a bridge for connecting the Chinese and foreign film art, promoting the prosperity of world film industry.