CANNES: Fortissimo Entranced by China’s ‘Great Hypnotist’

Picture is representative of new era of mainland Chinese genre films.

HONG KONG – “The Great Hypnotist,” on course to be one of the biggest Chinese films of the year, is set to get a global outing.

The supernatural-mystery will be represented jointly by Hong Kong’s Fortissimo Films and China’s Wanda Media, and will be given a Cannes Market screening.

Directed by Taiwan’s Leste Chen, “Hypnotist” pitches a top doctor in a psychological battle against a sexy patient who resists his methods and may indeed be trying to hypnotize him. It features “Lost In Thailand” star Xu Zheng and Hong Kong singer-actress Karen Mok.

“’Hypnotist’ is a game-changer representing a new direction in genre films for China,” said Fortissimo chairman Michael J Werner. “This film represents a continuing evolution in the global outlook of Chinese cinema by combining a commercial genre with a strong budget, great production values, and an engaging and engrossing story packaged together with stunning visuals and artistic highlights.”

It was set as one of the big releases for the May Day holiday and opened theatrically in China on Tuesday April 29. It scored $14 million over the just completed weekend, giving a one week cumulative total of some $23 million to date.

It played as the closing film of the recent Beijing International Film Festival and other festival dates are being lined up.

Production is by Tina Shi, and James Li, with Xu Zheng and Gillian Zhao as executive producers. It is presented by Jerry Ye on behalf of Wanda Media, the production and distribution arm of Wanda Group, a giant property to multiplex group which also controls the North American multiplex chain AMC Entertainment.

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