Weinsteins hooked on homevideo

ImaginAsianTV pacts with TWC, Genius for distrib deal

U.S.-based Asian entertainment group ImaginAsianTV has struck a home entertainment distribution deal with The Weinstein Co. and its 70% owned sibling Genius Products.

Deal, expected to be the start of an expanding relationship between ImaginAsian and TWC, sees Genius handle home entertainment distribution for some 15 feature films per year that will be marketed under the new ImaginAsian home entertainment label.

Genius will handle businessto- business marketing of the titles, while ImaginAsian keeps control of consumer marketing, packaging and design.

Leveraging TWC relationship will allow ImaginAsian to significantly ramp up the number and scale of the Asian movies it acquires. Outfit has four acquisitions execs at Pusan and expects to have closed up to a dozen purchases by the end of the upcoming American Film Market.

Company recently set Korean erotic thriller “Green Chair” and Vietnam-set “Journey From The Fall” as its first titles for theatrical release. TWC relationship gives ImaginAsian more options with upcoming acquisitions.

Firm will strike more all-rights deals and carve out TV rights for itself.

“Martial arts and horror films have long worked in North America, but we want to look at other genres. Weinstein Co is looking at a similar niche,” ImaginAsian founder and CEO Michael HONG, said. “We make an attractive partner for them as our core business is a TV network in over 5 million homes, we have our own theater and a growing online presence.”

TWC and its predecessor Miramax have been enthusiastic buyers of Asian movies, but releasing hiatuses meant outfits attracted regular criticism in Asia. TWC gave its action and genre titles a tailor-made outlet with its recently launched Dragon Dynasty home entertainment label.

Deal, negotiated by Hong and Trevor Drinkwater and Stephen Bannen of Genius, also sees Genius handle video on ImaginAsian’s first pair of original TV series “Comedy Zen” and “Uncle Morty’s Dub

Shack.”

TWC and Genius recently began handling North American home entertainment for another art-house and Asian specialist Tartan USA, the U.S. arm of Blighty distrib Tartan Films. It also houses the Liberation Entertainment and Wellspring libraries.

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