Releases on DVD, VOD, digital, focus on festival fare

Foreign films, many of which have played the festival circuit, will soon get a new platform to reach U.S. audiences through the launch of Fox World Cinema, a label that Fox Home Entertainment plans to bow later this year.

First pics to launch already include Korea’s “The Yellow Sea,” screening at Cannes this month as part of the Un Certain Regard program, and helmed by Na Hong-jin.

The films will initially be released on DVD, with the discs receiving distinct Fox World Cinema packaging, and offered across various video-on-demand services and as digital downloads.

Releases are eventually expected to be made available on Blu-ray as well, but for now, studio wants to offer the titles at a lower pricepoint to attract consumers.

Titles will be chosen with Fox Intl. Prods., run by prexy Sanford Panitch. FIP produces, co-finances, acquires and distributes foreign-language films. Six to eight pics will be released annually.

Other titles set for release are Wu Ershan’s Chinese movie “The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman,” presented by Doug Liman and premiered at last year’s Toronto Film Festival; Rohan Sippy’s “Dum Maaro Dum,” of India; and Michele Placido’s “Vallanzasca: Angel of Evil,” which played the Venice Film Festival, the Los Angeles Italian Film Festival and the London Italian Film Festival.

The Fox World Cinema label will be introduced at Cannes next week and receive a marketing push.

“Filmmakers around the world are creating provocative and entertaining films, many of which are rarely seen outside their native countries,” said Mary Daily, exec VP of marketing, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, who developed the concept. “With Fox World Cinema, we are committed to introducing these films to passionate audiences in America that are eager to embrace a range of cultures and experiences.”

New label is being launched because “in recent years, American audiences have embraced successful foreign films such as ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ and ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,’ ” Panitch said.

Overall, Fox has had success with releasing international fare in theaters like “Slumdog Millionaire,” “L’Auberge espagnole,” “Lucia, Lucia,” “My Name Is Khan” and “La misma luna” and now hopes it can give more titles exposure on homevid.

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