Ambi Group Launching Chinese Partnership With SinoLicensing

Entertainment Dealmakers Impact report
Courtesy of FABRIZIO DI GIULIO

Ambi Group is partnering with Beijing-based SinoLicensing to form Ambi-Sino China — a finance, production and distribution company.

SinoLicensing CEO Chuan “Melody” Bi and and Ambi co-owner Andrea Iervolino will oversee the day-to-day operations. The deal was announced Monday in Beijing.

In addition to expanding Ambi’s distribution to China, Ambi-Sino will finance and produce Chinese original content, co-produce English-language content with Chinese partners, and serve as a local production partner for Ambi’s productions and third-party projects.

Ambi-Sino will be able to exploit the Ambi  library, which includes the Exclusive Media library it acquired last year. That acquisition covered remake and sequel rights for about 400 titles, including “Begin Again,” “Cruel Intentions,” “Donnie Darko,” “End of Watch,” “Ides of March,” “Memento,” “The Mexican,” “Parkland,” “Rush,” “Sliding Doors,” “Snitch,” “Undefeated” and “The Way Back.”

“These properties, and more, will be considered for local remake opportunities in the Chinese language with cooperation from local and international financing partners,” Ambi noted.

The initial focus for Ambi-Sino are Chinese-language remakes of titles currently handled by Ambi Distribution. It will co-produce English and Chinese feature films, and co-finance local Chinese content, both for theatrical, and online distribution. The Beijing-based team will handle other formats of popular content, including games.

“We are excited about the opportunity to create a China-based extension of our company, which will prove extraordinarily valuable not only to us, but also to the network of producers, distributors and content creators that are joining us on a daily basis,” Iervolino said. “The ability to operate in China as a Chinese company, with highly respected local partners, will multiply and streamline our opportunities there and around the world.”

Melody Bi said in a statement, “The China film industry has been one of the fastest growing industries in the world and we are excited to work with Andrea and the Ambi team, who not only have strong passion for the China market, but also respect and understand the differences and uniqueness of the local audience and ecosystem here.”

Two-year-old Ambi has assembled a slate that includes “This Beautiful Fantastic,” starring Jessica Brown Findlay and Tom Wilkinson; James Franco’s “In Dubious Battle”; the sci-fi thriller “Rupture,” starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Chiklis and Peter Stormare; the psychological thriller “Lavender,” starring Abbie Cornish and Dermot Mulroney; and the romantic comedy “All Roads Lead to Rome,” starring Sarah Jessica Parker.

It announced last month that Lucy Liu, Suki Waterhouse and Snoop Dogg had joined James Franco’s post-apocalyptic thriller “Future World.”

(Photo: Andrea Iervolino)

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  1. Ilovemycountry says:

    Here we go again- AMERICAN SELLOUTS!
    NO HONOR – Sellouts for money. Just money.
    The stupidity of this makes my stomach turn. The greed in your hearts is painful to grasp!

    • whatever says:

      Hey, Ilovemycountry, you are missing the point. Western companies cannot do business in China without a local partner. AMBI has merely well positioned itself for whatever new protectionist rules/regulations the Chinese government throws at the local industry. This is a play for the massive and growing Chinese middle class’ consumer dollars. This is the opposite of selling out.

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