Biopic of Asian-American basketball star acquired in 'home' territory
Fortissimo, which has all rights outside the U.S. and mainland China, said that there was a bidding battle for Taiwan rights from the moment that it introduced the picture to buyers at the Hong Kong FilMart in March.
“Jeremy is a superstar in Taiwan and an inspiration throughout Asia. In ‘Linsanity’ director Evan Jackson Leong captures the heart and soul of this rising basketball hero,” said Fortissimo chairman Michael J. Werner.
The film follows Lin’s life from his childhood in Palo Alto, Calif., through his meteoric ascent to stardom in early 2012 with the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Assn., giving rise to the term “Linsanity.” Lin transferred to the Rockets in Summer 2012.
Leong started filming in 2010, while Lin was a relatively unknown basketball player at Harvard University.
Lin arrived in Taiwan early on Wednesday local time from the U.S. and will stay in the territory for a week. During that time he will host charity, evangelical and endorsement events as well as a basketball training academy with Houston Rockets teammate Chandler Parsons. Lin is scheduled to depart for China on Aug 21.
Lin was born in the U.S., but both his parents hail from Taiwan and emigrated to the U.S. in the 1970s.
The film project was financed by 408 Films, and produced by Christopher Chen/Endgame Entertainment, Brian Yang/408 Films and Allen Lu. It had its initial tip off at the Sundance festival and was also an official selection at South by Southwest.
In the US it will be released Ketchup Entertainment from October. Fortissimo has struck deals in other Asian territories. Asian distributors and theatrical release dates will be announced shortly. An Asian regional pay-TV deal is also understood to have been completed.
The deal between Fortissimo and Encore was inked by Werner and Encore president Khan Lee.