FILM stardom no longer depends on success in Hollywood.

Over the past decade, the Chinese economy has dramatically outpaced the rest of the world and the film industry is no exception.

China is already the second-largest movie market in the world and, with a potential audience of 1.6 billion, some experts believe it will eventually overtake the North America market.

Although last year’s box office total of $6.6bn still has a long way to go before it overhauls North America’s $11.4bn take, China is building cinemas at the rate of more than 20 new screens a day.

Film-making money is also flowing out of China into international markets.

Dalian Wanda Group, the Chinese entertainment conglomerate, already owns a Hollywood studio. In Europe it runs the UCI and Odeon chains and recently signed a deal with Sony Pictures. Chinese retailer Alibaba funds blockbusters and even China’s state-owned television broadcaster is ploughing cash into film-making.

The Chinese have money to invest and canny producers are beating a path to their door.

That’s why it is the perfect time for Bradford’s City of Film to open an office in China, especially as Quingdao – the Chinese Hollywood – plans to do the same over here. The new base will enable our region to promote co-production opportunities and market its best filming locations.

A bumper crop of movies and TV series have already used Bradford as a filming location in 2017. We look forward to welcoming Far Eastern film crews to the district very soon.