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‘The Pig, The Snake and The Pigeon’ Leads Taipei Film Awards Nominations – Global Bulletin - variety.com - South Korea - county Lee - Hong Kong - city Taipei - county Frederick
variety.com
17.05.2024

‘The Pig, The Snake and The Pigeon’ Leads Taipei Film Awards Nominations – Global Bulletin

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Hit crime thriller “The Pig, The Snake and The Pigeon” received 13 nominations for the upcoming Taipei Film Festival’s Taipei Film Awards. These include nominations for best feature, best director, best screenplay, best actor, best supporting actress, and best supporting actor.

In ‘Blue Sun Palace,’ U.S.-Made Critics Week Charmer, Constance Tsang Reframes the Chinese Immigrant Tale With Empathy – and a Stellar Cast - variety.com - China - New York - county Queens
variety.com
19.05.2024

In ‘Blue Sun Palace,’ U.S.-Made Critics Week Charmer, Constance Tsang Reframes the Chinese Immigrant Tale With Empathy – and a Stellar Cast

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief First-time feature director Constance Tsang makes a splash in Cannes with “Blue Sun Palace,” the first U.S. film in Critics Week that is in the Mandarin Chinese language. Set in a massage parlor, staffed with Chinese immigrants, in Queens, New York, the melodramatic film tells of how the romantic relationship between a man and a woman is disrupted by a sudden disappearance. Tsang was careful to avoid stereotypes and to be true to the community that she grew up in and observing. But the feature effort was also a big step up from the short films she cut her teeth on. Underlining that point, she amassed a powerful cast of leading Chinese-speaking actors, including Lee Kang-sheng (“What Time Is It There” and a dozen Tsai Ming-liang films), Wu Ke-xi (“Nina Wu,” “The Road to Mandalay”) and rising Mainland China star Xu Haipeng.How did you jump from a succession of short films into your first feature? I would say that jumping into the feature is exactly what happened.

Hoshi Studios, East-West Manga Incubator, Launched by Through the Lens Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE) - variety.com - Japan - Singapore
variety.com
18.05.2024

Hoshi Studios, East-West Manga Incubator, Launched by Through the Lens Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE)

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Through the Lens Entertainment, the East-West film studio that made a splash at Cannes last year, is expanding into manga. It has launched Hoshi Studios, a manga development and publishing startup with outposts in Singapore and Japan. The outfit will create teams combining western film and TV talent with established Japanese manga artists to create books and other comic-book properties.

Tony Leung Set as Tokyo Film Festival Jury President - variety.com - Japan - Tokyo - Hong Kong - city Hong Kong
variety.com
17.05.2024

Tony Leung Set as Tokyo Film Festival Jury President

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Leading Hong Kong actor Tony Leung has been set as the president of the jury that will decide the main competition prizes at the Tokyo International Film Festival later this year. “Japan is close to my heart in more ways than one. And to be involved in celebrating film in this way, is a big deal for me.

Chinese Streamer iQiyi Increases Profits in First Quarter - variety.com - China
variety.com
16.05.2024

Chinese Streamer iQiyi Increases Profits in First Quarter

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Chinese video streamer iQiyi reported increased profits in the first quarter of the year, derived from lower revenue. The company, which is NASDAQ-listed but majority owned by Chinese tech giant Baidu, said that net income attributable to iQiyi grew to RMB655 million ($90.8 million), compared to RMB618 million in the same period in 2023. Revenues were RMB7.9 billion ($1.1 billion), a decrease of 5% year-on-year. “We have been generating positive operating cash flow for eight consecutive quarters, and our balance sheet continued to improve,” said Wang Jun, the company’s chief financial officer. Performance transparency, however, has recently been reduced.

Retro Asian Sex Help Prescribed by Netflix’s ‘Doctor Climax’ – Trailer - variety.com - Thailand
variety.com
16.05.2024

Retro Asian Sex Help Prescribed by Netflix’s ‘Doctor Climax’ – Trailer

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Netflix probes issues of sex education and societal taboos in Asia back in the 1970s in new series “Doctor Climax,” which it will upload from June 13. Supposedly drawn from real events, the show’s central character is a skin doctor who dreams of becoming a novelist. In the meantime, he moonlights as a newspaper sex-help columnist operating behind a pseudonym.

‘Don’t Cry Butterfly,’ Hanoi-Set Horror-Comedy, Flies to Korea’s Barunson E&A for Cannes Market Launch (EXCLUSIVE) - variety.com - Japan - Indonesia - Vietnam - Singapore - Philippines
variety.com
16.05.2024

‘Don’t Cry Butterfly,’ Hanoi-Set Horror-Comedy, Flies to Korea’s Barunson E&A for Cannes Market Launch (EXCLUSIVE)

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Korea’s Barunson E&A has picked up world sales rights to Vietnamese horror-comedy “Don’t Cry Butterfly.” Sales will be launched this week at the Cannes Market. Written and directed by Duong Dieu Linh, the Hanoi-set film follows a housewife who uses voodoo to try and get her cheating husband fall back into love with her, but instead invites a mysterious presence into the house.

‘Kangaroo’ Hops Into Action for Studiocanal’s Cultivator Films Australia - variety.com - Australia - France - county Patrick - city Sanctuary
variety.com
15.05.2024

‘Kangaroo’ Hops Into Action for Studiocanal’s Cultivator Films Australia

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Cultivator Films Australia, the local subsidiary of France’s Studiocanal, has begun production of “Kangaroo,” its first movie. It tells the story of Chris Barns, aka ‘Brolga,’ founder of the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs. Previously announced in December, the film is directed by Kate Woods (“The Umbrella Academy,” “The Good Lord Bird,” “Looking for Alibrandi”) and is written by Harry Cripps (“The Dry,” “Penguin Bloom”) with Melina Marchetta and additional material from Danielle MacLean & Peta-Lee Cole-Manolis.

‘The Chronicles of Libidoists,’ ‘A Foggy Tale’ Among Golden Horse Goes to Cannes Showcase - variety.com - county Will
variety.com
15.05.2024

‘The Chronicles of Libidoists,’ ‘A Foggy Tale’ Among Golden Horse Goes to Cannes Showcase

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief The Golden Horse Film Festival, which operates the premier awards in the Chinese-language film industry, has teamed up with Cannes’ Marché du Film to showcase a handful of new films and projects under the banner Golden Horse Goes to Cannes. To be presented May 16, the five films comprise new works from directors Chen Yu-hsun, Yang Ya-che, Huang Xi, Giddens Ko and John Hsu, with such high-profile producers as Lee Lieh, Sylvia Chang, Aileen Li, Jeffrey Chan and Hou Hsiao-hsien.

EST N8 Adds Fantasia-Bound Korean Action Film ‘Mash Ville’ to Cannes Market Slate (EXCLUSIVE) - variety.com - Britain - Los Angeles - North Korea - Philippines - city Bangkok
variety.com
15.05.2024

EST N8 Adds Fantasia-Bound Korean Action Film ‘Mash Ville’ to Cannes Market Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Los Angeles- and Bangkok-based sales firm EST N8 has bulked up its Cannes Market film sales slate with a trio of completed Asian titles. “Mash Ville” stars Jeon Sin-hwan (“The Housemaid,” “Time Renegades”) and Park Jong-hwan (“Concrete Utopia,” “Hell Is Other People”) and weaves together the lives of pseudo-religious believers and eight strangers in a rural area. When their paths cross they must fight for survival.

‘The Desperate Chase’ Racks Up Pre-Sales Ahead of Cannes Market Launch by Korea’s Finecut - variety.com - France - Brazil - South Korea - city Seoul - Japan - Vietnam - Israel - Taiwan
variety.com
15.05.2024

‘The Desperate Chase’ Racks Up Pre-Sales Ahead of Cannes Market Launch by Korea’s Finecut

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Seoul-based film sales company, Finecut has notched pre-sales for its upcoming action-comedy “The Desperate Chase, which it is launching this week at the Cannes Film Festival‘s Cannes Market,. The film is an action comedy featuring a hot-blooded detective and a swindler who is also a master of disguise who team up to combat an evil mafia. Early rights buyers include Rights Cube for Japan, Apex Success Global for Taiwan and Mockingbird Pictures for Vietnam. Screening as a rough cut in the Cannes Market, the film is the second feature by Kim Jae-hoon, known for his debut with the body-switch action thriller “Devils,” which released in South Korea last year.

Thai Action Film ‘The 24’ Launched by New Sales Firm Boz Pictures at Cannes Market (EXCLUSIVE) - variety.com - Thailand - Japan - Hong Kong - city Bangkok
variety.com
15.05.2024

Thai Action Film ‘The 24’ Launched by New Sales Firm Boz Pictures at Cannes Market (EXCLUSIVE)

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Female stunt performer Wiriya Caesar will step up into the lead performer role in upcoming Thai action film “The 24.” The film project is being launched this week in the Cannes Market by new international sales firm Boz Pictures. Wiriya (aka Porntip Wiriya, aka “Fan”) has previously been a stunt double for Mary-Elizabeth Winstead in “Kate” and Golshifteh Farahani in “Extraction,” and has other credits on “Thirteen Lives” and “Hidden Strike.” In “The 24” she will star as an assassin who wakes up with a time bomb strapped to her body. She has clear instructions to kill a hit list of 24 members of the Bangkok underground, with each successful hit buying her more time alive. Caesar is joined in the cast by Japan’s Sakaguchi Tak (“Re:Born,” “One Percenter,” “Versus”), Dan Chupong (“Ong Bak 1 &2,” “Born to Fight”), Sunny Pang (“The Night Comes for Us,” “Headshot” and Gareth Evans’ upcoming “Havoc”) and Simon Kook (“Ip Man 3,” “Mayhem”). The film, which will shoot in the fourth quarter of this year, is written and directed by Lee Thongkham (“The Maid,” “The Lake,” “Kitty the Killer”).

Asian Content Attracts and Retains 80% of Region’s VOD Audiences, Report - variety.com - China - Thailand - Japan - North Korea - Indonesia - Malaysia - Singapore - Taiwan - Philippines
variety.com
15.05.2024

Asian Content Attracts and Retains 80% of Region’s VOD Audiences, Report

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Asian audiences are increasingly turning to homegrown content in their streaming choices. Asian titles powering 80% of premium VOD engagement and customer acquisition, according to new research from research and consultancy firm Media Partners Asia. “The Rise of Asian Content” is based on passive tracking of 40,000 users by sister company AMPD in nine major Asian markets – Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand – over 15 months between Jan.

‘Civil War’ Set for Mainland China Theatrical Release - variety.com - Spain - France - Brazil - China - Belgium - Washington - Portugal - Finland
variety.com
15.05.2024

‘Civil War’ Set for Mainland China Theatrical Release

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Alex Garland’s critically-acclaimed “Civil War” has confirmed a theatrical release in mainland China. Marking the first A24 production to be released in China, it will arrive in cinemas from June 7. Huahua Media took rights to the film for China. Tech and entertainment giant Alibaba will also be partnering with Huahua throughout the release. Depicting a dystopian future America, the film’s story follows a team of military-embedded journalists as they race against time to reach Washington DC before rebel factions descend upon the White House.

Tencent Profit Recovers, Approaches $6 Billion in First Quarter - variety.com - China - city Shanghai
variety.com
14.05.2024

Tencent Profit Recovers, Approaches $6 Billion in First Quarter

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Tencent, the Chinese social media, gaming and streaming giant, enjoyed a 62% gain in profits, earned from a 6% revenue improvement in the first quarter of the year. Profits between January and March reached RMB42.6 billion ($5.92 billion). That figure also represented a 55% quarter on quarter gain.

Lino Brocka’s Cannes Classic ‘Bona,’ With Philippines’ Female Superstar Nora Aunor, Set for Release in U.S., France (EXCLUSIVE) - variety.com - France - Canada - Philippines
variety.com
14.05.2024

Lino Brocka’s Cannes Classic ‘Bona,’ With Philippines’ Female Superstar Nora Aunor, Set for Release in U.S., France (EXCLUSIVE)

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief “Bona,” one of the landmark films of Philippines cinema, is headed for release in France and the U.S. later this year. Directed by Lino Brocka, considered one of the pioneers of Philippines cinema, a restored version of the film returns to Cannes after an absence of more than 40 years.

‘The Undertaker’ Cast Reunite for Thai Horror Pic ’Night Shift’ Launching at Cannes Market (EXCLUSIVE) - variety.com - Thailand - city Bangkok
variety.com
14.05.2024

‘The Undertaker’ Cast Reunite for Thai Horror Pic ’Night Shift’ Launching at Cannes Market (EXCLUSIVE)

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Chatchai Chinnasri and Nattawut Sanyabut, two stars from runaway Thai hit film “The Undertaker,” are reunited on upcoming supernatural horror film “Night Shift.” The new film, directed by Chaiwat Sitalasai (“Spirit of Ramayana”), centers on an upcountry graveyard worker who finds himself haunted by spirits in an abandoned building in Bangkok. The film is directed by Chaiwat Sitalasai (“Spirit of Ramayana”) and is now in advanced pre-production ahead of a June start of production. Delivery is anticipated in March 2025.

‘Megalopolis’ Official Trailer Reveals Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Best Work Ever’ - variety.com - Rome
variety.com
14.05.2024

‘Megalopolis’ Official Trailer Reveals Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Best Work Ever’

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief “Our new film ‘Megalopolis’ is the best work I’ve ever had the privilege to preside over,” reads a quote attributed to iconic director Francis Ford Coppola attached to the official trailer for his new epic film. The picture, which will premiere in competition on Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival, has been a project many years in the making for the director, who first began work on the screenplay in the 1980s. The legendary filmmaker behind “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now” has invested $120 million of his own money into the film.

New Gen Drives Biz as Taiwan Sees Rise of Younger Filmmakers With Global Ambition: ‘Everything is Possible in Taiwan’ - variety.com - France - China - Malaysia - Hong Kong - Singapore - Taiwan - city Taipei - city Hong Kong - Bhutan
variety.com
14.05.2024

New Gen Drives Biz as Taiwan Sees Rise of Younger Filmmakers With Global Ambition: ‘Everything is Possible in Taiwan’

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief The feature “Tales of Taipei” is a tribute to the low-pressure, culturally rich city, which has been shaped by its regional neighbors, taken in diverse peoples and distilled the multiple competing influences into a messy, happy-go-lucky morass. Produced by Bowie Tsang and Amy Ma, the film calls on 10 directors hailing from Malaysia, France, Bhutan and Hong Kong, and Taiwanese locals Yin Cheng-han and Remii Huang to contribute.“Everything is possible in Taiwan, everything exits side by side,” says Tsang, who was born in Hong Kong. “We have old Chinese myths.

Buddy Marini, Veteran Asia Executive, Hired as GM of Warner Bros. Discovery in Japan - variety.com - China - Japan - Tokyo - county Patrick
variety.com
14.05.2024

Buddy Marini, Veteran Asia Executive, Hired as GM of Warner Bros. Discovery in Japan

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Veteran Asian executive Buddy Marini has been appointed GM of Warner Bros. Discovery in Japan.The role covers all operations in Japan including home entertainment, digital & TV licensing, consumer products, anime production, franchise and pay-TV networks, but excluding theatrical and the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo: The Making of Harry Potter business. Marini joins WBD with 25+ years’ experience in leadership across media and technology companies in Japan, China and the U.S.

Tencent Music Profits Climb 28% in First Quarter as More Users Pay for Streaming - variety.com - China
variety.com
13.05.2024

Tencent Music Profits Climb 28% in First Quarter as More Users Pay for Streaming

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Tencent Music Entertainment, China’s largest online music corporation, got smaller but more profitable in the first quarter of 2024. That continued a trend seen previously in the company’s 2023 accounts. Revenues in the January to March quarter weighed in at $937 million (RMB6.77 billion), a 3% decrease compared with the same quarter last year. But profits after tax increased 28% to $212 million (RMB1.53 billion). Monthly active users across its free and paid for tiers decreased by 2% to 592 million.

China Box Office: ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ Opens on Top of Weekend Chart - variety.com - China - Japan - Hong Kong
variety.com
13.05.2024

China Box Office: ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ Opens on Top of Weekend Chart

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” debuted on top of the mainland China box office with an opening weekend score of $11.4 million (RMB81.1 million). That was only the fourth weekend this year that a Hollywood film has topped the China charts and the third time in 2024 that a Hollywood title has opened on top. “Apes” was also the top film this weekend in North America and international markets. Data from consultancy firm Artisan Gateway showed that the film accounted for some 30% of the theatrical total on a weekend where theaters earned a combined $38.2 million.

Korea Box Office: ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ Opens Second as ‘Roundup: Punishment’ Wins Third Weekend - variety.com - South Korea - Japan - North Korea
variety.com
13.05.2024

Korea Box Office: ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ Opens Second as ‘Roundup: Punishment’ Wins Third Weekend

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” opened in second place at the South Korean weekend box office, a distance behind local holdover title “The Roundup: Punishment.” “Punishment,” the fourth part of Don Lee’s “Roundup” action franchise, dominated proceedings for the third weekend in succession. It earned $5.53 million and advanced its cumulative total to $67.7 million, according to Kobis, the tracking service operated by the Korean Film Council (Kofic).

Touching Trailer Revealed for Un Certain Regard’s ‘Viet and Nam’ (EXCLUSIVE) - variety.com - France - Vietnam - city Busan
variety.com
11.05.2024

Touching Trailer Revealed for Un Certain Regard’s ‘Viet and Nam’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief French sales agent Pyramide International has dropped a dark and subtle trailer for “Việt and Nam” a gay drama about two young miners who must complete a mission before fate pulls them apart. Directed by Vietnamese auteur Trương Minh Quý, the film plays at the Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard with its world premiere on May 22. Per a synopsis from lead producer Epicmedia: “Nam and Việt, both young miners, cherish fleeting moments, knowing that one of them will soon leave for a new life across the sea. But the departure cannot happen as, lying in a far-off forest is Nam’s father, a soldier, whose remains they’re compelled to find.

Latin Horror Film ‘Eyes of the Abyss’ Pre-Sold to North America, U.K. Ahead of Blood Window Cannes Market Debut (EXCLUSIVE) - variety.com - Australia - New Zealand - USA - Ireland - Argentina - county Atlantic
variety.com
10.05.2024

Latin Horror Film ‘Eyes of the Abyss’ Pre-Sold to North America, U.K. Ahead of Blood Window Cannes Market Debut (EXCLUSIVE)

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Uncork’d Entertainment has pre-bought multi-territory rights to upcoming Argentinian-produced action-horror film “Eyes of the Abyss” ahead of its showcase in Cannes next week. Uncork’d has picked up the film, which is currently in post-production, for North America, the U.K. and Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

K2 Pictures Seeks to Break Japan’s Production Committee System of Conservative Filmmaking - variety.com - Hollywood - Japan
variety.com
10.05.2024

K2 Pictures Seeks to Break Japan’s Production Committee System of Conservative Filmmaking

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Kii Muneyuki, a former head of production at Japan’s Toei, is launching K2 Pictures, a company that aims to upend Japanese filmmaking practices. Its debut slate, with films by Kore-eda Hirokazu, Iwai Shunji and Nishikawa Miwa, will be unveiled in Cannes next week. A key part of the new company’s strategy is the establishment of a film fund, K2P Film Fund I, that will invest in live action and animations productions.

Tarsem Singh’s ‘Dear Jassi’ to Open Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (EXCLUSIVE) - variety.com - Los Angeles - Los Angeles - India - Beverly Hills
variety.com
09.05.2024

Tarsem Singh’s ‘Dear Jassi’ to Open Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (EXCLUSIVE)

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Tarsem Singh’s tale of forbidden romance “Dear Jassi” has been set as the opening title of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. The event, which runs June 27-30, will showcase seven feature films, a new industry section and a female-centric collection of South Asian short films.

Fortissimo Selling ‘Family at Large’ Chinese Crime Drama - variety.com - Britain - China - city Amsterdam - city Beijing
variety.com
09.05.2024

Fortissimo Selling ‘Family at Large’ Chinese Crime Drama

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Amsterdam- and Beijing-based Fortissimo Films is to pre-sell Chinese crime drama “Family at large,” kicking off at the Cannes Market. The film had previously been announced with sales handled jointly by Fortissimo and Rediance. Now, Fortissimo alone is representing rights worldwide, ex-China. Directed by Kang Bo, the film is set in the chilly far north of the country.

Vietnam’s Skyline Media Inks Pre-Cannes Deals on Southeast Asian Slate (EXCLUSIVE) - variety.com - Vietnam - Cambodia - Hong Kong - Burma - Taiwan - city Busan - Laos
variety.com
09.05.2024

Vietnam’s Skyline Media Inks Pre-Cannes Deals on Southeast Asian Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Skyline Media, a leading Vietnamese studio, is getting ready for Cannes with a string of sales on its local and Southeast Asian film sales slate. Since appearing at FilMart in Hong Kong in March, Skyine has licensed Cambodian horror title “The Night Curse of Reatrei” to Taiwan’s Cai Chang International and to Exponenta Film for the CIS region.

‘Noise’ Sales Resonate for Korea’s Finecut – Pre-Cannes Market Deals - variety.com - Spain - France - Brazil - Italy - Thailand - Austria - Japan - North Korea - Indonesia - Greece - Czech Republic - Berlin - Cyprus - Slovakia - Taiwan - city Sangsoo
variety.com
09.05.2024

‘Noise’ Sales Resonate for Korea’s Finecut – Pre-Cannes Market Deals

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Korean sales firm Finecut has inked multiple deals for horror thriller “Noise” and for “A Traveler’s Needs,” the recent Berlin prize-winner directed by Hong Sangsoo.“Noise” is a “multi-sensory and realistic horror” film that intertwines societal motifs of “floor noise” with suspenseful elements. Directed by Kim Soo-jin, the film centers around a woman with a hearing aid haunted by inexplicable sounds linked to her sister’s disappearance in her own apartment and attracting a malevolent presence.

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