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Sales agency cements China activities with branch opening

HONG KONG — Arclight Films has become the latest U.S.-based sales agency to open an office in Beijing.

The company has hired Elliot Tong, a former producer and sales agent, to head the new operation.

The office is expected to focus on sales rights for China and other Asian territories, as well as new film acquisitions, TV sales and support for Arclight’s growing Chinese film co-production activities.

Tong was previously an executive with Andy Lau’s Focus Films and was most recently head of international at Tianjin North Film Group, the Chinese company behind stereoscopic 3-D cartoon films “Legend of a Rabbit” and its sequel.

Arclight and its sister company, the Hong Kong-registered Easternlight, are involved in packaging “Outcast,” a China-set action adventure movie to star Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christiansen that is in pre-production. It is also readying a sequel to “Bait,” a partially Chinese-financed shark-themed action movie that was directed by Kimble Rendall.

“We are fully committed to expanding our operations in China to meet the industry’s increasing needs and demands in the region,” said Arclight managing director Gary Hamilton in a statement.

“We have witnessed enormous growth in artistic and commercial quality films coming from Mainland China in recent years,” said Tong.

In June, Hollywood-based sales agency IM Global opened a Beijing unit, hiring two former executives from China’s Huayi Brothers Media to run it.

Arclight has recently handled sales on other Chinese titles including “Dangerous Liaisons,” Jet Li vehicle “Badges of Fury”and Chen Kaige’s “Sacrifice.”

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