Executives leave Lau's production company

Highly visible Hong Kong-based execs Daniel Yu and Lorna Tee have ankled their positions at Focus Films, the production, sales and distribution shop they ran for Asian superstar Andy Lau Tak-wa.

Yu and Tee were, respectively, chief operating officer and marketing and distribution manager.

Surprise move was announced Friday by Simon Li, a Focus company director, who thanked the husband-and-wife duo for their contributions but did not explain their exits. Chief factors behind the departures are understood to be differences of opinion over the direction of the firm and the pressures of multitasking.

In the statement, Li named himself and marketing exec Sharon Cheng as ongoing operators of the company.

“As the company is seeking to restrategize, and we would like to spend more time developing and producing more high-quality international productions, we have sadly taken the decision to leave,” Yu and Tee said in a statement Monday.

The change represents significant upheaval for a company whose permanent staff did not exceed six people but whose range and regional spread of activities belied its small size. Recent successes include the Focus First Cuts slate of low-budget digital movies it produced involving young helmers from around Asia. Package, a strong seller in the region, included “Crazy Stone,” one of the biggest homegrown hits of the year in China. Company also recently acquired and promoted third-party pics from Indonesia and Taiwan.

Yu and Tee plan to set up their own production shingle. They will continue to be involved with select Focus movies, including Thai helmer Wisit Sasanatieng’s upcoming “Armful” and a second round of low-budget Focus First Cuts features. But pair will be free to work with other shingles.

In addition to filmmaking and distribution, Focus often appeared to act as one of Lau’s talent managers.

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