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Arclight’s after ‘Shanghai’ boon

Sales agent picks up two Asian-themed pics

Oz-U.S. sales agent Arclight Films has expanded the slate of Asian-themed films to be handled through its Easternlight label. It has picked up sales duties on “Shanghai Baby” and Kelly Hu vehicle “Shanghai Kiss.”

“Baby” is a tale of sexual liberation in modern China based on the bestselling novel by banned novelist Zhou Wei Hui. Story follows a Chinese woman torn between her Asian traditions and her lust for a Western lifestyle. She also must choose between two men — one in Shanghai, the other in Berlin. Book sold 6 million copies and has been translated into 34 languages.

The English-language movie, starring Bai Ling and Germany’s Katja Riemann, was helmed by Berengar Pfahl from a script penned by Margaret Hennig and Martin Hennig, Pfahl and Wei Hui. The $10 million budget was fully financed by Pino Curzio’s Italo-German private equity operation A.M.I. Pic is now in post.

“Kiss,” helmed by Kern Konwiser and David Ren, follows an Asian-American actor living in Los Angeles who’s forced to reconsider his roots after suddenly inheriting a house in Shanghai.

Pic, produced by aggressively expanding Bigfoot Entertainment, features a roll call of up-and-coming Asian-American thesps including Ken Leung (“X-Men”), TV starlet Hayden Panettiere and Byron Mann.

Launched at Berlin in February, Easternlight has a slate that also includes Ziyi Zhang starrer “Jasmine Women,” recent Hong Kong pickup “Dog Bite Dog” and Japan’s “Nightmare Detective.” “Kiss” is completed and will likely receive its market preem in Berlin.

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