EXHIBITOR OF THE YEAR:
Lark Intl. Multimedia
Vallone pioneered multiplexes in Hong Kong and China, and has more than four decades of exhibition experience, primarily with United Artists Theaters, which he joined in 1964. His first taste of the Asian market was when he steered a joint venture with U.S. businessman Ira D. Kaye to develop multiplexes in the Hong Kong market. Kaye’s Lark Group owns UA Cinemas, which operates theaters and also owns CityLine, Hong Kong’s second-largest ticket vendor.
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE:
Michael J. Werner and Wouter Barendrecht
Few people have done as much for the international profile of Asian cinema as Hong Kong-based duo Werner and Barendrecht.
Founded in 1991 by Barendrecht, Fortissimo has been a champion of Asian films, pushing them tirelessly at markets around the world and developing a reputation as an advocate and fan of quality Asian cinema.
Through this passionate promotion, Fortissimo has steered a number of titles to international success, including helmer Wong Kar Wai’s “Chungking Express” and “In the Mood for Love,” and given confidence to a range of up-and-coming Asian filmmakers who have subsequently found auds through distribs buoyed by Fortissimo’s participation.
DISTRIBUTOR OF THE YEAR:
Warner Bros. Intl.
Upped to senior veep of Asia distribution and chief rep of Warner New Asia in October, Suharjono is responsible for Warner’s push into China. Her guidance in marketing and distributing American-made films in the region has been a boon to WB.