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Hyde Park unveils Asia outpost

Company opening offices in India, Singapore

Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment has formed an Asian division with offices in India and Singapore, aiming to create a bridge between Hollywood and the Indian/Asian film and media business.

“I am equally at home in the U.S. as I am in Asia,” said Amritraj, a native of India. “Over the last couple of years, with Asia’s growing influence in the world marketplace, it has become a major focus for me.”

Hyde Park had earlier established strategic alliances with talent and companies in India, China, Singapore and Japan.

The films produced would include major Hollywood movies as well as local-language pics with Indian/Asian talent and financial participation from Asian investors.

Hyde Park also disclosed Monday a joint venture with India-based Toonz Entertainment for live-action and animated pics, with the first toon to be unveiled at Cannes. And it plans to begin shooting its first Indian project this fall, lensing “The Other End of the Line,” with Jesse Metcalfe (“John Tucker Must Die”) starring opposite a leading Indian female star; MGM will distribute domestically.

Hyde Park said it will produce its first Indian-language film in early 2008.

Hyde Park plans to present at Cannes its China-based “The Children of Huang Shi,” which just wrapped principal photography with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh. It’s also partnered with Baldwin Entertainment to produce in China “Mandrake the Magician,” to be directed by Chuck Russell.

Speaking of Singapore, Amritraj said the country “has become a very important component of our global plan with its strategic location and incredible growth.”

In Japan, Hyde Park previously announced a joint venture with Capcom Japan to produce a feature based on its vidgame “Street Fighter,” set to shoot this fall in Hong Kong. Hyde Park and Kadokawa are also developing feature film “Solitary Isle,” based on the short story by Koji Suzuki (author of “The Ring”).

Hyde Park recently produced “Premonition,” which grossed more than $70 million worldwide. Its “Death Sentence,” directed by James Wan (“Saw”) and starring Kevin Bacon, will be released by Fox in August, followed by “Asylum,” starring Sarah Roemer (“Disturbia”) and directed by David Ellis (“Snakes on a Plane”).

Hyde Park has a five-year, first-look co-financing/producing deal with Fox.

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