BUSAN: Arclight, Joyncontents Hook Up for New Endeavor (EXCLUSIVE)

BUSAN — Sydney- and Los Angeles-based international sales group Arclight has teamed up with Korean producer-distributor Joyncontents to launch a new Korean-specialized sales label.

The new Joylight, a U.S.-domiciled, 50-50 joint venture company, will have its market launch next month at the American Film Market in Santa Monica.

Joylight will handle international sales on all Korean movies produced by Joyncontents, an output currently estimated at 12 per year. And it will also pick up third-party Korean films from other producers.

The company will operate as fourth label in Arclight’s cluster of sales and film finance operations – after its Arclight (mainstream English-language titles), Darclight (genre pictures) and Easternlight (Asian, mostly Chinese-language, titles).

“The deal is built on three things: international sales; co-productions and remake rights,” Easternlight managing director, Ying Ye, told Variety. “With the new Korea-China treaty, and the China-Australian treaty we will be involved in Korea-China-Australian co-productions, which build on the growing connections between Korea and Chinese film industries and Australia’s world class incentives system.”

“Joylight will be functionally different to the sales operations of the big Korean studios, in that we are an open platform for all Korean filmmakers (not just those films funded by the studios),” said Jason H. Chung, Joyncontents’ U.S. representative, on behalf of company president Choi Kwang Rae.

“Korean movies are coming back in a big way, after a down period a few years ago. We aim to reawaken world interest,” Easternlight head of Asian sales and acquisitions, Elliot Tong said.

First titles flowing from Joyncontents to the new company are “Heartbreak Hotel” a U.S.-set noir directed by Kim Tae-sik and starring Kang Ji-hwang; and teen thriller “Speed,” directed by Kim Ki-duk-protege Lee Sang-woo. Both films are in advanced post-production and “Speed” may have a market screening premiere in Santa Monica.

Joyncontents will remain one of Korea’s most significant distributors of foreign independent movies and will have a privileged, but non-exclusive relationship with Arclight as a buyer. It has recently handled titles including “Transcendence,” “The Expendables 3” and “Hercules.” It has also been one of the leading importers of Chinese film into Korea, with previous titles including “Chinese Zodiac,” and Arclight titles “The Four” and “Badges of Fury.”

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