Label to give Asian pix theatrical release in N. America

L.A.-based distribution veteran Ko Mori of Eleven Arts and producer Tim Kwok of Convergence Entertainment have set up distributor Cinema Asia Releasing to bring Asian films to North America, a notoriously difficult market to crack.

The label, launched at Hong Kong’s Filmart, is backed by private equity and will acquire between eight and 10 pictures a year. Ancillary partners include DVD and VOD players Funimation and Gravitas.

CAR’s first feature was the anime franchise “Evangelion 2.0,” and recent acquisitions include Japanese helmer Tetsuya Nakashima’s “Confessions,” Thai director Wisit Sasanatieng’s blockbuster “Red Eagle” and Hong Kong helmer Roy Chow’s thriller “Murderer,” starring Aaron Kwok.

Its next release will be the Taiwanese helmer Kevin Chu’s actioner, “Treasure Hunter,” starring Jay Chou.

“Given the fact that there is a lack of distribution opportunities in the American market, we felt it was proper to provide another outlet so that there is longevity in Asian cinema on the global front,” Ko said.

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