'Kano' movie by Taiwan's Umin Boya

Taiwan’s top 2014 titles head for market debut

HONG KONG – Two of Taiwan’s biggest film titles for 2014 will make their market debuts in Busan next week, having been picked up by new sales company Ablaze Image.

The company, headed by former Edko executive June Wu, is handling the big-budget directorial debut of actor Umin Boya (aka Ma Chih-hsiang). His “Kano” about a multi-ethnic baseball team is produced by the Wei Te-sheng and Jimmy Huang, the pair behind the 2011 epic “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale.”

Made on a budget of $10 million, the film stars an impressive Japanese cast including Nagase Masatoshi, Osawa Takao, Sakai Maki and Igawa Togo. It is set to release in Taiwan in Feb 2014.

Ablaze is also handling “Lefty Sky,” only the third film by Yee Chih-Yen, director of 2002 “Blue Gate Crossing,” which was released in the U.S. by Strand Releasing. Comedy-drama “Lefty” is a story of two teenage boys who each hatch a plot to steal a statue of Sun Yat-sen from their school. The picture is put together by top producer Lee Lieh, producer of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” and this year’s hit “Zone Pro Site: The Moveable Feast.” Having wrapped last week, the film will release in August next year.

Backed by Atom Cinema and One Production Film, Ablaze was established earlier this year to handle the current crop of movies from Taiwan. It is also handling “Zone Pro Site” and library titles including “GF*BF.”

The Busan International Film Festival runs Oct. 3-12, 2013. Its accompanying Asian Film Market and Asian Project Market run Oct. 7-10, 2013.

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