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Film studio rings up telco deal

Feature film studio Fitto Mobile has concluded an agreement with the British colony’s telephone service to provide cinema releases on its experimental video-on-demand service before they are premiered in the cinema.

Telecom’s director of multimedia services, William Lo, announced last week that a version of Fitto Mobile’s latest production, “The Green Hat,” will be aired on VOD in August to the 400 Hong Kong households taking the subscription service.

While the “The Green Hat” was being shot in Cantonese earlier this year, the director, Alfred Cheung, simultaneously shot an English-lingo version with a western cast entitled “My Mistress, My Wife.” Cheung is also Fitto Mobile’s managing director.

“The Green Hat” has been released theatrically in Hong Kong, but “My Mistress, My Wife” will be premiered on VOD in August, before being released for showings in cinemas, according to Cheung. It will be the first time a Hong Kong feature is shown to a subscription-paying audience before premiering in moviehouses.

Telecom’s monopoly of the domestic telephone business ends on July 1, when three other companies will come online. Telecom will retain control of overseas calls until 2005. The firm is trying to diversify into other ventures using its hard-wire system.

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