Media Asia Unveils Pic Slate

Media Asia has confirmed a slate of 16 films this year, a dramatic increase in production as part of its output deal with Star TV.

Media Asia, which also manages and distributes Star’s movie library, is committed to 50 films under a three-year output deal which commenced in 1994. A total of seven movies were made last year by the company, two of which were surprise box office hits in Hong Kong.

This year Media Asia will up the budgets as well as the volume of output from an average of HK$4 million per picture last year (about $500,000) to between $1 million and $3 million. Media Asia started operations on March 14 last year and will renegotiate its deal with Star in January.

The first film to go into production is “A Foreign Moon,” which starts shooting on location in London March 22. It is directed by Zhang Zeming. With an estimated budget of $1.5 million, this already has been pre-sold to the BBC.

Next is “Sun Valley,” directed by He Ping (“Red Firecracker, Green Firecracker”), starring Zhang Fengyi. This is pitched as the first Chinese Western and will come in at $1.8 million. These will be followed by “The Man Without a Pass,” to be shot in Australia and Hong Kong by Wong Wahkei; and “Crossline,” set in Vancouver and directed by Jamie Luk.

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