Beijing and Hong Kong November 1, 2011 – Village Roadshow Entertainment Group (“VREG”) today unveiled its newly-launched platform for Chinese film production and distribution, together with details of its partner alliances, management team and initial slate of films which will be released under the Village Roadshow Pictures Asia label.
Village Roadshow Entertainment Group Asia (“VREG Asia”) has established a platform that joins the Chinese film industry and Hollywood in a closer partnership, to provide development, financing, production, technical services and distribution support to film producers, directors and creative talent across Greater China. To date, VREG Asia has formed local strategic partnerships with actress-producer Zhang Ziyi, producer Bill Kong, director Chen Daming, and Dadi Media. At the same time, VREG Asia has formed strategic overseas alliances with the leading Australian visual effects and animation studio Animal Logic, Cimarron Group, an entertainment marketing powerhouse with offices in both Beijing and Los Angeles, and the premiere entertainment industry market research and marketing information company, Screen Engine, to bring international expertise and professional technical services to the Chinese market.
“As a global entertainment company that operates across all areas of the film and music industry, we are making state-of-the-art resources available to our partners in China,” said Greg Basser, CEO of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group. “We are honored to join forces with local and international partners to develop and produce movie projects, and to become a participant in the Chinese film industry.”
VREG Asia has opened an office in Beijing, with Ellen R. Eliasoph, a 25-year film industry veteran, as President and Chief Executive Officer. Previously the Managing Director of Warner Bros. Pictures China, Eliasoph was responsible for managing Warner Bros.’ participation in “Turn Left, Turn Right”, “The Painted Veil”, “Crazy Stone”, “Crazy Racer” and other co-production projects. Other key members of the VREG Asia team include Ming “Beaver” Kwei, serving as Executive Vice President of Development and Production, and Lizhi Chen, Vice President, Marketing and Distribution.
“Having worked with China’s filmmakers and film companies for many years in a joint effort to develop the film market, I am gratified to witness China’s growing emergence as a major player in the global film industry, and delighted to be a part of it”, said Ms. Eliasoph. “VREG Asia will propel this trend forward by working closely with China’s filmmakers, helping them tell their stories, and working to bring their films to an ever-widening audience around the world.”
The initial slate of VREG Asia films was also announced and includes “My Lucky Star” and “Journey to the West.”
The Pan-Asia romantic comedy/caper film, “My Lucky Star” will star and be produced by Zhang Ziyi. VREG Asia and Dadi Media will jointly finance and co-produce the picture, which will be directed by Hollywood director Dennie Gordon, whose credits include “New York Minute” and the hot US TV series “30 Rock”.
“Journey to the West”, an adaptation of the “Monkey King” story, is being written, produced and directed by Stephen Chow, with Bingo Group, VREG Asia and Edko Films are jointly financing and co-producing.