Coudert Brothers eyes Asian markets

MUMBAI: You can't fault Coudert Brothers partner Edward S Labowitz for spending time in Asia these days.

Based in Los Angeles, he chairs the firm's Entertainment Practice Group and thus has the responsibility of helping expand Coudert into the Asian market and servicing existing clients in the US who are foraying into Asia. Ed, as he likes to be called, is slated to speak at the Asia Television Forum and the Film Market which is being held in Singapore's famed Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort in early December. 

"I will also be trying to understand the Asian market," he says. "We have offices in nine cities in Asia. And I am here to try and see and understand the market firsthand. There are many models in the film business - be it financing or ventures- which have been used and have worked in the US and Europe and I am here to talk about those." 

Labowitz points out that the Asian TV and film market is maturing in Asia both in terms of distributing Asian products across the continent and in the US and in terms of productions and co-productions between US and European companies and Asian ones. 

His firm has recently represented a Hollywood director, Jack Scholder who directed a movie which was shot in Ramoji Rao's Film City and financed by Usha Kiron movies. The movie has been produced by Morris Riskind and Victoria Pikles of Shorline Entertainment. "I represented Jack in a first of its kind deal wherein Director's Guild of America guidelines were followed when he was directing in India," says Ed. 

He is also extremely excited by China's potential. "I salivate over the kind of capacity China has for a huge film and television market. Both for US and Chinese product for the US market," he says. "My next hot favourite is Korea which is producing films which have the chance to travel outside."

In fact, a Korean producer CJ Entertainment has recently released a film The Way Home through Paramount in the US, a deal in which Coudert was involved in.

Ed says he would like to know more about India. "It is the second largest film base outside of the US. But I believe the restrictions on exports still make it a little difficult," he reveals. 

What about television? Does Labowitz see a market for cross overs for TV productions? "In the area of television formats, there is scope both in Asia and India," he elaborates.

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