With box office takings in Asia growing faster than anywhere else in the world, more studios from Hollywood and beyond are seeking local partners to tap into the region

As Asian movie industry flourishes, industry looks to region for tie-ups


OCT 4, 2013

BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA – With box office takings in Asia growing faster than anywhere else in the world, more studios from Hollywood and beyond are seeking local partners to tap into the region, industry players say. Many co-productions are visible at the 18th Busan International Film Festival that opened Thursday in South Korea, featuring a series of events aimed at facilitating cross-border deals.U.S. producer and studio executive Harvey Weinstein is among the major players involved in Asian projects, having picked up international rights for the hit South Korean sci-fi thriller “Snowpiercer,” which boasts an international cast.

He is also involved in the sequel to director Ang Lee’s Academy Award-winning “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”

Action director Michael Mann is about to bring his crew — and his robots — to Hong Kong to shoot scenes for the newest addition to the “Transformers” franchise, the latest Hollywood film to use Asian settings to lure the region’s moviegoers, following on from the success this year of Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim.”

In an increasingly globalized economy, “international projects are bound to flourish,” producer Nanette Nelms said.

Her production, “Vara: A Blessing,” a Bhutanese film directed by lama Khyentse Norbu and made with an internationally-recruited crew, was the surprise choice for festival opener in Busan.

The musical drama about a woman’s illicit love for a man of lower caste premiered at the event Thursday, giving it the kind of international exposure producers crave — especially when it comes to Asia.

The region outpaced North America in terms of box office growth in 2012, increasing by 15 percent to $10.4 billion compared to North America’s 6 percent rise to $10.8 billion, and the same scenario is playing out so far this year.

The Chinese market is No. 1, taking in an estimated $1.8 billion at the box office over the first six months of the year — a year-on-year rise of 36 percent. It is expected to overtake the U.S. market by 2020.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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