Ambitious new player bets on big names
BEIJING — Hong Kong and China have a lot of synergies to exploit, something recognized by the ambitious shingle J.A. Media, which is taking a straightforward approach and focusing on pics by some of the biggest names in Chinese-language cinema as a way of boosting growth.
J.A. Media is backed by the wealthy Chinese energy-to-pharmaceuticals conglom Jian Group; it launched as a TV company but is back at Cannes, where it made its debut. Group also has producer Nansun Shi onboard as a consultant.
Hong Kong is a useful base for J.A. Media when it comes to working in China because of the island region’s sophisticated business structure, strong legal framework and highly developed film industry. Underlining its Greater China focus, J.A. Media has opened a Beijing office to handle production and internal distribution responsibilities, while its Hong Kong outlet controls external distribution and finance.
Prominent pics on the slate include Tsui Hark’s latest “She Ain’t Mean,” currently lensing in Beijing and featuring rising star Zhou Xun, Kitty Zhang and Kwai Lun-mei and scripted by Korean helmer-scribe Kwak Jae-yong.
The company is also rolling out the teen romance “Miao Miao,” which is being co-produced with helmer Wong Kar Wai’s Jettone and produced by Stanley Kwan and Jacky Pang. Pic stars Fan Chih-wei, Ke Jiayan and Sandrine Pinna.
Also on the slate are Stephen Fung’s “Jump,” an action comedy based on a story by Stephen Chow, and Kwan’s “He Is, He Isn’t,” which is set in Bangkok and stars Huo Xiaoyu of “Little Jade (Huo?)” fame.
J.A. Media has stayed in touch with its TV roots and is in pre-production on skeins including “The Great Repatriation” and “Driven to Tears.”