US entertainment company hopes to bolster cultural ties through BRI

US entertainment company Cinedigm Tuesday expressed its willingness to engage in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

"BRI is all about the exchange of ideas, trade and culture in a positive way around the world," said Chris McGurk, Chairman and CEO of Cinedigm, a Los Angeles-based entertainment production and distribution company.

"We want to be a key part of that," McGurk said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua Tuesday, saying his company "fits in well with China's Belt and Road strategy."

The BRI, first proposed by China in 2013, refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe, Africa and beyond.

"Cinedigm is a key cultural catalyst between the United States, China and other territories," he said, adding that "as content providers, we bring countries and cultures together."

Cinedigm announced last week a cooperation deal with CMC Pictures, a major distributor in China, to release various CMC titles across all ancillary channels in North America, including digital, television and DVD/Blu-Ray.

"It gives us a way to help China to make cultural exchanges with the United States that the big studios can't. We aren't some gigantic US corporation that's historically promised China a two-way flow of content that always turned out to be just a one-way street to sell US content into China," McGurk said.

He explained that Cinedigm's indie status enables them to be a good cultural catalyst that can make a genuine two-way flow of content between the United States and China happen.

"Bambu, our new online streaming service being launched in a few months, will enable us to bring lots of Chinese content to US audiences, like music, sports, lifestyle and reality shows. That's the type of content that travels well," McGurk added.

Cinedigm is a leading US entertainment company and distributor that has gone through multiple incarnations since it was established in 2000. Now the company has 50,000 titles and distribution relationships with leading retailers like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, and online giants, iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon.