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The first five films will be produced in partnership with Hong Kong actor Chapman TO, who has already produced two films in partnership with Emperor, Heiward MAK's Ex (2010) and Diva.
To said, "In the 1980s and 1990s, Hong Kong film-makers were very playful, which resulted in so many creative films at that time. I hope to restore that sense of playfulness — and creativity — with this series of films."
The initiative is in response to the greater success of local films in the region. In the early stages of the project, Hong Kong films will have the greatest priority, but production may even branch out to the Philippines and Indonesia.
EMP and SCM will invest 50:50 in film productions, which they expect to be theatrically released through Emperor and its distribution partners in Asia. Budgets are expected to be approximately US$775,000 (HK$6 millon) per title.
Emperor's CEO Albert LEE expects that the initiative will result in more than ten films within the next three years. The first film will go into production this summer.
Ward Platt, regional president of Fox International Channels, which operates Star Movies, said "We are now much more focused on local films whereas in the past we were primarily focused on acquisitions. This Go Local! initiative is one of our major focuses this year and a step towards other investments [in production] in the future."
Platt pointed out that that his sister company Fox International Productions is already active in the region — investing in the Chinese-language Hot Summer Days (2010) and South Korean thriller The Yellow Sea (2010) — but believes that "we can't under invest in Chinese language cinema right now".
Source: Film Business Asia
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4. Journey to the West
5. An End to Killing