Online film — it was one of 2017’s ten new media words selected by the State Language Commission. First defined in 2014 by iQiyi, the Baidu-owned video site and China’s largest online entertainment provider, to be a film with a minimum length of one hour, produced at a studio standard of quality, that can only be viewed on specific online platforms.
Chosen (杀无赦), a big-budget online series co-produced with Sony Pictures Television (adapted from the American drama of the same name), will debut on iQiyi’s platform in Mainland China and Taiwan, and will be available worldwide on Netflix later this year for viewers in more than 190 countries and territories, according to a January 5th press conference. The company has reached deals with Netflix and international partners to distribute several of its popular productions, like the online series Tiensin Mystic (河神) and Burning Ice (无证之罪).
“This is a clear demonstration of confidence in the show’s quality by iQiyi and its partners, and our strength in promoting original online films overseas,” said Yang Xianghua, iQiyi’s senior vice president at the press conference, “We hope our new business model and innovation in distribution will lead to more cooperation with other global partners in the future, and get more great content to our viewers worldwide.”
“The future of online video, originality of content, and whether or not it resonates with an audience are all interconnected factors. We constantly strive to explore and broaden our distribution models and content in order to bring larger quantity and higher quality products to audiences; Chosen is a prime example of this,” said Dai Huang, Chief Representative and Vice President of distribution and production at Sony Pictures Television, and a board member of Sony Pictures’ joint venture in China, Huaso Film & TV Digital Production Co., Ltd.
“iQiyi is using Chosen as a test to sharpen its strength in online film production,” said Dou Lili, the general manager of iQiyi’s Online Film Development Center, “We hope that a combination of original rights from American dramas, Chinese modes of presentation, and production quality at an industry standard will help promote more of our content globally.”
The actors featured in Chosen include Taiwan-born actor Lan Cheng-Lung, Chinese actress Deng Jiajia, stage actor Han Pengyi and Australian actor Sam Hayden-Smith. The show’s theme song was written by After Journey (艾福杰尼) and Boom Huang Xu, the newly-famous Chinese rappers.