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Village Roadshow sets up shingle in China

Company to co-produce Zhang Ziyi starrer 'Lucky Star'

Village Roadshow is the latest international shingle to enter the booming China market with the launch of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group Asia, a platform for Chinese production and distribution.

Its slate is headed by romantic comedy “My Lucky Star,” produced by and starring Chinese thesp Zhang Ziyi. VREG Asia and Dadi Media will jointly finance and co-produce the pic, which will be helmed by Dennie Gordon.

The slate also includes Stephen Chow’s “Journey to the West,” a version of the Monkey King legend. Chow will helm, produce and write “Journey,” while Bingo Group, VREG Asia and Edko Films are jointly financing and co-producing.

VREG Asia’s topper will be former Warner Bros. China exec Ellen Eliasoph, who has 25 years’ experience in the region, with Ming “Beaver” Kwei as executive VP of development and production, and Lizhi Chen as VP of marketing and distribution.

“Having worked with China’s filmmakers and film companies for many years in a joint effort to develop the film market, I am gratified to witness China’s growing emergence as a major player in the global film industry, and delighted to be a part of it,” said Eliasoph, who worked on Warner Bros.’ “Turn Left, Turn Right,” “The Painted Veil” and “Crazy Stone.”

“VREG Asia will propel this trend forward by working closely with China’s filmmakers, helping them tell their stories, and working to bring their films to an ever-widening audience around the world.”

VREG Asia has also formed strategic alliances with Australian vfx and animation studio Animal Logic; Cimarron Group, an entertainment marketing group with offices in Beijing and Los Angeles, and research and marketing information company Screen Engine.

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