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The Motion Picture Licensing Company is to ramp up operations in the Asia-Pacific region. It has opened a hub office in Hong Kong and plans to create operating entities in at least eight Asian countries and territories.

MPLC’s non-theatrical exhibition licenses authorize the public performance of movies and television programs otherwise restricted for private home usage. It represents more than 1,000 producers and rights owners worldwide.

Industry veteran Frank Rittman has been appointed as MPLC’s MD for Asia Pacific and is based in the Hong Kong office. He will report to MPLC vice chairman, Mike Weatherley.

Rittman previously served as senior VP, deputy MD and regional policy officer for the Motion Picture Association’s Asia-Pacific regional office in Singapore. Before that, he served a 12-year tenure as the VP of international affairs for the National Music Publishers’ Association and The Harry Fox Agency.

Within Asia, MPLC currently has joint-venture operations in Malaysia and Singapore. The projected expansion is expected to take in markets including China, India, and South Korea, over the next five years.

We’re very excited to be investing in the Asia-Pacific region, complementing the services we provide for film makers in the existing 33 territories we operate in worldwide. I’m delighted to bring Frank aboard with his extensive film industry, licensing and Asia experience,” said Weatherley in a prepared statement.