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Talent agencies sign cross-border deal

Korea's Namoo agrees with China's Chengtian

Korean and Chinese talent agencies Namoo Actors and Chengtian Entertainment Friday signed a cross-border deal to develop each other’s clients.

The agreement will see the two firms promote each other’s stars and directors in what are Asia’s second- and third-largest entertainment markets.

Cooperation could also extend beyond mere representation as Chengtian is also a leading producer of TV shows, and has recently become a significant movie investor and producer.

“This deal will help us make bigger pictures and enable us to access each other’s infrastructure,” said Namoo’s international topper Kim Seok-jun.

The deal is further evidence of Korean companies looking to build working relationships with their neighbors. “China will be a gateway for us to the rest of the world,” Kim said.

Chengtian, which is an investor in John Woo’s upcoming “Red Cliff” and has a slate of low-budget features dubbed New Cinema City, also counts Japanese talent management giant Avex as a 20% shareholder.

Onscreen talent under management at Chengtian includes Tang Yan, Hao Lei, Jiang Yiyan and Song Jia. Namoo reps top Korean stars Kim Tae Hee, Song Min Ji and Kim Hyo Sun.