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China’s Huayi Launches Bumper Slate

If something were drastically wrong with Chinese film studio Huayi Brothers, it would be hard to discern from a defiantly confident and upbeat slate announcement.

Referred to variously as the H Files and the H Project, the slate was unveiled at a glitzy event in Shanghai’ s famous Bund district, on Friday night, a day before the kick off of the Shanghai International Film Festival.

The company’ s film chief Jerry Ye categorized the assortment in three categories — Heart, Hits, and Horizon.

The near term releasing slate is headlined by new films from Huayi’s regular hitmakers Tsui Hark and Feng Xiaogang.

The company complemented them with the pickup of “Shoplifters,“ by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-Ede, which took the Palme d’Or in Cannes. It also revealed itself as distributor on another Cannes competition film, Jia Zhangke’s “Ash is Purest White.“

The so-called “Horizons“ section includes six U.S. titles sourced through its partner STX Entertainment. It noted “Adrift,“ “Radioactive,“ “A Simple Favor,“ “Mile 22,“ “Peppermint,“ and “Chaos Waiting.“

Huayi has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons of late. It was sideswiped by the allegations made against Fan Bingbing, who was accused of underdeclaring her earnings to tax authorities. And last week it emerged that the two brothers Dennis and James Wang who own 28 percent of the company, have taken personal loans against nearly all their shares, amounting to 25 of the total stock.

The slate launch event was followed by a party for stars and executives at the Hyatt Hotel on the Bund.


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