Fox, Ciwen, Fortune Star to co-produce Chinese martial arts film

MUMBAI: MFox, Beijing Ciwen Digital Oriental Film & TV Production (Ciwen) and Fortune Star have entered into an agreement to co-produce a costume martial arts film in China – Gold Bandits (working title) – with an anticipated production start date of June 2007.

Hong Kong filmmaker Andrew Lau (Infernal Affairs, Initial D) will produce and direct the film and writer/director Gordon Chan is currently working on the script. The film will also be produced by Ciwen GM Ma Zhong-Jun and Fortune Star GM Peter E. Poon.

Under the agreement, Ciwen will be responsible for the film’s distribution in mainland China (excluding home video). Fortune Star will oversee distribution in India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea. Fox will distribute the film to the rest of the world and also holds home video distribution rights for mainland China.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment president Mike Dunn says, “Last month, we commemorated a momentous milestone for the studio with the establishment of a Fox representative office in China and a newly formed distribution partnership with Zoke Culture Group.

“Following up on our promise to contribute to China’s growing consumer market and to support development of the country’s film industry, we are thrilled to announce our first Chinese language co-production deal. This project represents an exciting opportunity for Fox to work with China’s own creative community and to meet the ongoing consumer demand in China for high-quality entertainment choices.”

Twentieth Century Fox senior VP film acquisitions Tony Safford says, "Co-financing Gold Bandits is part of the studio’s country-by-country strategy to align ourselves with credible third party producers -- in this case Ciwen and Fortune Star -- to create distribution partnerships that begin locally, spread regionally, and ultimately reach film audiences worldwide.”

Ma Zhong-Jun said, “We are excited to work together with Fox and Fortune Star on the production of this Chinese major motion picture. This groundbreaking collaboration ensures the creation of a world-class quality production which will spur local box office sales, while also putting in place the capacity for worldwide distribution even before shooting begins.”

Poon says, “We are delighted to work with Fox and Ciwen, as well as with renowned filmmakers Andrew Lau and Gordon Chan, all of which are synonymous with high quality, award-winning films. I am confident that we have a compelling story to tell here and that this film will engross audiences in Asia as well as in the rest of the world.”

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