'Crew' to Become First Russian Genre Movie in 10 Years to Get Japan Theatrical Release

June 22, 2016 - The disaster movie is the highest-grossing homegrown film in Russia so far this year. Russian movie Ekipazh (The Crew) has been sold to Japan and will become the first Russian genre film to be released theatrically in that country in more than 10 years. "I was very impressed with The Crew quality-wise," Robert Jones, CEO of IPA Asia Pacific, which will release it in Japan, told The Hollywood Reporter. "Russian content is getting better and better, and we feel there will be audience for it in Japan." Directed by Nikolai Lebedev and produced by TRITE Studio, The Crew is a remake of Alexander Mitta's 1979 movie of the same title, which was one of the Soviet era's most commercially successful pictures. It focuses on an international flight's pilots' efforts to save the passengers following a disaster in a small town in the mountains. The last Russian genre movie to be released theatrically in Japan was Timur Bekmambetov's Nochnoy Dozor (Night Watch), which grossed $477,000 in April 2006. The Japanese release is tentatively scheduled for the fall, but the exact release date and the number of screens are to be determined later.

Berlin: Key Territories Pounce on Harrison Ford's 'Official Secrets'

February 15, 2016 - The Iraq War drama will also star Paul Bettany, Natalie Dormer, Martin Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Tahar Rahim and Gillian Anderson. One of the high-profile offerings at Berlin's European Film Market has attracted a number of international buyers. Political thriller Official Secrets, being directed by Justin Chadwick (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), has been snapped up by SND for France, Notorious Pictures for Italy, Corbi for Spain and Swen Group International for Latin America. Elsewhere, deals were signed with Times Media Films for South Africa, Cinemundo for Portugal, Eagle Films for the Middle East, Tanweer for Greece and India, Aqua/Pinema Group for Turkey, IPA for Taiwan, PT Prima Cinema for Indonesia, Shaw Organisation for Singapore and Entertainment in Motion for airlines. The film, making its market bow in Berlin, is set to star Paul Bettany, Natalie Dormer, Martin Freeman, Anthony Hopkins and Harrison Ford. Tahar Rahim and Gillian Anderson also were recently added to the cast.With a screenplay by Sara and Gregory Bernstein, Official Secrets is based on the book The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War: Katharine Gun and the Secret Plot to Sanction the Iraq Invasion. Set in 2003 in the months before the Iraq War, the plot sees a British intelligence officer leak information about an illegal spy operation against the UN Security Council to ensure passage of a resolution for war. When she is arrested, a reporter looks for evidence to free her. The Solution Entertainment Group’s Lisa Wilson and Myles Nestel are executive producing and handling the financing and international sales at EFM. UTA Independent Film Group packaged the project and represents domestic rights.

Chinese hit "MONSTER HUNT" Sells big

September 11, 2015 - EXCLUSIVE: Hong Kong-based Edko Films has sold Raman Hui’s blockbuster hit Monster Hunt to a slew of international territories. Deals include German-speaking Europe (Falcom Media), Italy (Minerva Pictures) and CIS and Baltics (Central Partnership). The $40m CGI/live-action hybrid has also gone to Latin America (Alpha Filmes), Korea (Lumix Media), India and Philippines (Multivision Multimedia) and Indonesia (Encore Films). As of Sept 9, Monster Hunt had grossed $378.5m (RMB2.42bn) in China. The film is already by far the highest-grossing local movie ever in China, and is expected to overtake Furious 7 in the next week to become the highest-grossing movie overall. A sequel is currently in development. The film has already been released in some Asia Pacific territories including Singapore and Malaysia (Sony Pictures), Vietnam (Atrinaga), Australia & New Zealand (Magnum Films) and Thailand (IPA Asia Pacific).


Helen Mirren Is Featured Speaker

June 2, 2015 - Academy Award-winning actress joins mountain climber Melissa Arnot, digital leaders Rachel Sklar and Shelley Zalis Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren joins TheWrap’s first Power Women Breakfast in New York as a featured speaker in the midst of her Tony-winning run on Broadway in “The Audience.” Mirren is one of the most celebrated actresses of our time, having won international recognition for her work on stage, screen and television. She won the Academy Award®for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in “The Queen” in 2006 as well as a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award®, and BAFTA Award for Best Actress.Currently, Mirren can be seen on Broadway, reprising her award-winning role as Queen Elizabeth II in “The Audience,” a new play by Peter Morgan, directed by Stephen Daldry, for which she is a front-runner for the Tony Award. Most recently, Mirren was seen in The Weinstein’s Company’s “Woman in Gold” and Disney’s “100 Foot Journey.” She will next be seen in Bleecker Street Media’s “Trumbo” and IPA Asia Pacific’s “Eye in the Sky.” She became a Dame of the British Empire in 2003.   


May 18, 2015 - (Cannes) FilmNation Entertainment announced today that they have sold out international rights in Cannes to Lenny Abrahamson’s (Frank, What Richard Did)  feature film ROOM, produced by Element Pictures and No Trace Camping. Emma Donoghue adapted the screenplay from her book, the award-winning international phenomenon, Room. Some territories sold include: Universal in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux, Scandinavia and LatAm; Studiocanal in the UK; Village Roadshow in Australia; Culture Entertainment in Japan; Elevation Pictures in Canada; Lev Films in Israel; Monolith in Poland; Spentzos in Greece; Sam Films in Iceland; Italia in the Middle East; Elite Film in Switzerland; Aqua/Pinema in Turkey; Bravos in Hong Kong; Blitz in Ex-Yugoslavia; Ster Kinekor in South Africa; IPA in Thailand; PT Amero/Prima in Indonesia; Shaw in Singapore; Contents Gate in South Korea; Maison Motion in Taiwan; and Fox International Channels for Pan Asian Pay TV.


Cannes: China's Wanda to Distribute 'The Ghouls' in AMC Theaters in U.S.

May 14, 2015 - As the company looks at promoting its films overseas, the tomb-raiding movie will act as a flagship. Chinese real estate and entertainment giant Wanda underlined its global ambitions in Cannes on Thursday, unveiling plans to distribute its big-budget production The Ghouls in the U.S. in cinemas of exhibitor AMC Entertainment, which it acquired in 2012. The conglomerate's Wanda Pictures unit will leverage the AMC theater chain to distribute the VFX-heavy movie internationally, with an added push from IM Global. Directed by one of China's hottest directors, Wu'ershan, and a big-name cast that includes Shu Qi,Chen Kun, Huang Bo, Angelababy and Xia Yu, The Ghouls is based on a series of online fantasy adventure novels written by Zhang Muye, which have sold 9 million copies. Wanda has already sold The Ghouls in Taiwan (CMC), Philippines (MVP), Singapore (Shaw), Indonesia (Cinemaxx), Vietnam (BHD) and Thailand (IPA- International Production Associates).

Stockholm-Based French Quarter Build US Connections

March 13, 2015 - The Swedish integrated indie group French Quarter Film is platforming this week Lina Mannheimer’s documentary The Ceremony at Austin’s SXSW Festival and just found in US distributor Mousetrap Films a new home for Anna Odell’s The Reunion. French Quarter Film’s second feature length The Ceremony about France's most famous dominatrix, author Catherine Robbe-Grillet and her inner circle, previously screened in competition at CPH:DOX and Gothenburg’s Nordic documentary sections. The North-American premiere at South by Southwest is set for March 16.  “The subject matter of S/M is receiving a lot of attention as it is both controversial and timely, sitting next to 50 Shades of Grey, “notes Dedye. Salma Abdalla, sales executive at Autlook Film Sales says the film has been sold to Italy (iWonder), Taiwan (IPA Asia). A US deal is in the pipeline. In Sweden, the film was released simultaneously in cinemas (Lucky Dogs Distribution) and on various VOD platforms on February 13. “We have to use alternative distribution models for small innovative films, which means working hard on PR to create a viral buzz,” says Dedye.

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October 2, 2014 -  Carnaby International Sales & Distribution is delighted to announce first major deals on PANZER 88 at EFM Berlinale 2014. Bobby Jones, President of leading distributor IPA Asia Pacific, has boarded the $40 million dollar action fantasy film for Thailand. Jones is constantly on the look-out for big theatrical titles with strong story-lines, good scripts and fresh concepts. From the producers of Academy Award winning STAR WARS, ALIEN and BLADE RUNNER, the film is due to go into production in the UK and Canada in October 2014. The producers are Gary Kurtz, Oscar-winning producer of STAR WARS, and AMERICAN GRAFFITI, and Ivor Powell. PANZER 88 is written and directed by cinematographer Peter Briggs, the co-writer of HELLBOY.

Altitude Inks Deals on 14 Films Including Samuel L. Jackson Starrer ‘Big Game’ 

December 15, 2013— Altitude Film Sales has closed international distribution deals on 14 films, including “Big Game,” an action adventure starring Samuel L. Jackson as the U.S. President. “Big Game,” which is written and directed by Jalmari Helander (“Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale”) and co-stars Onni Tommila as the President’s 13-year-old sidekick, has been sold to 16 territories to date. The most recent deals were inked with Shochiku (Japan), Swen (Latin America), Pictureworks (India), Shoval (Israel), Gulf Film (Middle East), Multivision (Malaysia), Pioneer (Philippines), Thailand (IPA Asia Pacific) and Cinemania. Entertainment One (U.K.), Ascot Elite (German-speaking territories and Switzerland) and Nordisk (Scandinavia) sealed deals in Cannes.

World distributors chase VN film

August 29, 2013 - Just days after it premiered in Vietnam, “Lua Phat” (Once upon a Time in Vietnam) could be screened in more than 20 countries and territories worldwide. According to the BHD company, the film’s main distributor, two big films distributors in the US and Canada - Grindstone Entertainment and Lionsgate - have agreed to purchase exclusive marketing and distribution rights respectively for Lua Phat. Distribution and DVD rights for the action movie have also been sold to Incubate (Australia and New Zealand), Spendid Films GmbH (Germany), Sonamu Pictures (the Republic of Korea), Picture Works (India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan), Creative Century Entertainment Co. Ltd (Taiwan), and IPA (Thailand). 


Focus Features Locks Deals On AMY WINEHOUSE Doc, Mike Leigh’s TURNER Pic, Kevin Macdonald’s BLACK SEA

June 3, 2013 - FFI has secured the following territories and respective distributors on behalf of Asif Kapadia’s Amy Winehouse documentary: France – Mars Films; Germany – Prokino; Benelux – Cineart; Greece – Odeon; Iceland – Sena; Israel – Lev Cinema; Middle East – Italia Film; Portugal – Lusomundo Audiovisuals; Turkey – D Productions; Hong Kong – Edko Films; India – PVR Limited; Singapore – Shaw Renters; Thailand – IPA Pacific; Australia/NZ – eOne; and South Africa – Ster-Kinekor. Focus Features International is currently fielding multiple offers for the UK, CIS, and Italy. The untitled Amy Winehouse documentary is produced by James Gay-Rees (Senna, Exit Through the Gift Shop) through Playmaker Films, Gay-Rees and Kapadia’s new production entity and co-produced by Universal Music. Gay-Rees and Kapadia collaborated on the acclaimed documentary Senna, which won numerous awards including BAFTA Awards for Best Documentary and Editing in 2012.

"Young Detective Dee" from China's Huayi Brothers has sold to France, India, and across Southeast Asia. 

May 22, 2013 - Hong Kong director Tsui Hark’s Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon – the hotly anticipated prequel to the Hong Kong veteran’s 2010 smash hit, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame – has sold to France (Wild Side) and across Asia, including India (IOF Entertainment), Middle East (Gulf Film), Thailand (IPA Asia Pacific), Philippines (Suraya Filem Production & Distribution), Korea, Russia, Hong Kong, Singpaore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan. The first Detective Dee film, an action-heavy Sherlock Holmes-style mystery set in ancient China, earned $46.9 million in the country – then a towering sum for a non-Hollywood production. It was co-produced by China’s Huayi Brothers and Hong Kong’s Film Workshop.

Interview with president of IPA Asia Pacific, Bob Jones, 66th Cannes

May 19, 2013 - At the Cannes film market during the 66th Cannes Film Festival, I thought it would be interesting to interview an international buyer from one of the hottest (and rapidly transforming) international territories; Asia. While running to a meeting to see the famous Bob Jones (president of IPA Asia Pacific), I was stopped by two sales agents and asked to attend a lunch with them. I said I couldn’t as I was already running late for an important meeting with ‘Bob’. Immediately they knew who he was, as if there is only one ‘Bob’ in the biz. After all, at the scene of the international marketplace for films, TV and media, Mr. Bob Jones is a superstar. Among the many titles Bob has bought for Asian territories in the past few years, some include: ‘Melancholia’ (2011), ‘The Artist’ (2011), ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ (2012), ‘On the Road’ (2012), ‘The Company You Keep’ (2012), ‘The Call’ (2013), ‘Blood Ties’ (2013), ‘The Immigrant’ (2013). Read below my interview with f buyer ‘Bob Jones’ after the 66th Cannes Film Festival / Market.

Lightning struck by The Jungle

May 19, 2012 -Lightning Entertainment has picked up world rights to The Jungle (2013), the new thriller by director Andrew Traucki. The film has already been pre-sold to Australia's IFM/Filmways; France's Wild Side Films; Metrodome Distribution in the UK; to A Contracorriente Films in Spain; the Middle East's Eagle Films and IPA in Thailand.

Asian deals news from AFM

November 2, 2012 - Asian distributors were quick to sign up for A Walk Among The Tombstones, starring Liam Neeson who is hired to find the kidnapped wife of a drug dealer. Sold by Exclusive Media, the film was licensed to distributors in Asia. Pony Canyon for Japan, Boomerang for South Korea, Deltamac for Hong Kong; IPA Asia for Thailand and Serenity for Taiwan.


Pre-sales ‘Coup’ for Wilson pic

May 16, 2012 - Before the Cannes market was officially under way, Nick Meyer’s Sierra/Affinity had secured a raft of pre-sales on Owen Wilson starrer “The Coup.” Pic, produced Crime Scene Pictures, was snapped up by Alliance Films for the U.K. and Spain. Sierra/Affinity also sold “The Coup” to Germany (Wild Bunch), Latin America (Sun) Russia and Eastern Europe (EEAP), India (Tanweer Films), Israel (United King), Middle East (Eagle Films), Thailand (IPA Asia Pacific) and Turkey (Tanweer Films).

Network adds Cherry, Yugo to lineup

February 12, 2012 - Golden Network Asia Ltd 嘉聯娛樂亞洲有限公司, the Hong Kong-based sales agent, has added literary adaptation A Cherry on a Pomegranate Tree (2010) to its Berlin sales line-up. Cherry is the first time feature by Chinese director Chen Li and is a light-hearted black comedy about village life in a rural China that is free of poverty and is instead bustling with entrepreneurial zeal. Asian animated features have recently proved successful for Golden Network, which is handling high-profile CGI-animated feature Seefood (2011) (pictured), from Malaysia. Recent licence deals mean that Seefood has now been sold to China (to China Lion and Bona Film), CIS (Luxor), Czech Republic and Slovakia (Hollywood CE), Ex-Yugoslavia (Blitz), France (Wide Side), Germany and the Netherlands (Splendid), India (Select Media), Indonesia (MT Entertainment), Latin America (California Filmes), North America (Grindstone Entertainment), Poland (Kino Swiat), South Korea (K&Entertainment), Scandinavia (Samfilm), Taiwan (AV-Jet), Thailand (IPA Asia Pacific), Turkey (Duka Films), and UK (Lionsgate UK).


Asia distributors Rush for F1 race epic

November 10, 2011 - Malaysian animation film Seefood (2011), represented for sales by Hong Kong's Golden Network Asia Ltd, added additional buyers including: Wild Side Films for France, Splendid Film for Germany, Kino Swiat of Poland, MT Entertainment of Indonesia, AV-Jet International Media Co Ltd  for Taiwan, IPA-Asia Pacific for Thailand.

Day 4 Berlin deals

14 February 2011 - Sales News- China's Tianjin Film Studio, attending its first Berlin market, scored a string of sales with its 3-D animation feature Legend of a Rabbit (2011). It was licensed to Ram Indo for Singapore & Indonesia.Epic Pictures signed theatrical sales deals on it's Space Dogs with distributor HGC for China and IPA for Thailand.

Buyers leap for Lord of the Dance 3D

February 13, 2011 - Deals done for North America home entertainment, German-speaking Europe and Taiwan. UK-based Kaleidoscope Film Distribution has closed initial deals for Michael Flatley: Lord of The Dance 3D in advance of the film’s market showing at the EFM.eOne will handle home entertainment rights in the US and Canada. Caroline Stern, Director of International Sales and Acquisitions at Kaleidoscope, also closed deals with Stephan Giger of Ascot Elite Entertainment Group for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Bob Jones of IPA Asia Pacific for Taiwan. Kaleidoscope’s CEO, Spencer Pollard commented, “We are thrilled to have inked our first distribution deal with Entertainment One for North America.  We have been impressed with their understanding of the Lord of the Dance brand.  North America is the second largest territory historically for Lord of the Dance and it was key for us to find a partner who is as excited about the film as we are”.

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Focus' 'Biutiful' sells well internationally

June 3, 2010 - Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Biutiful" received a mixed bag of notices after unspooling In Competition during the Festival de Cannes, but the Javier Bardem starrer has lived up to its name for sales label Focus Features International. Alison Thompson, president of international sales and distribution at Focus, said Inarritu's emotionally intense, jagged-edged tone poem sparked good old-fashioned competition among buyers across a slew of major territories. Thompson said deal making in Southeast Asia had increased, with Serenity taking the movie for Taiwan and IPA sealing a deal for Thailand. Edko snapped the picture for Hong Kong, and final negotiations are ongoing to sell the movie to a Japanese distributor.


HBO pursues product to start Czech

October 29, 1993 -  HBO is shopping here for product to launch a new pay TV service in the Czech Republic in April, sources at the Mifed market say. HBO film programming and acquisitions’ veep for Europe, Perry Schneider, is making the rounds at Mifed, purchasing pay TV rights for the new venture, according to distribs working in the area. International Production Associates signed deals here for home video and TV rights to the J&M, PM, Weintraub and Hemdale catalogs for the Czech and Slovak republics and Hungary, president Robert Jones said. IPA licenses its product to Flamex in Hungary, Golden Crown in the Czech Republic and Starcut Film in Poland. Jones said he now buys TV rights to all product, along with theatrical and homevideo, since private channels will be coming on stream in the region over the next year. But he notes there’s a huge gulf between what channels in Poland and the Czech Republic are paying for feature films ($ 1,500-$ 3,000) and what the AFMA pricing guidelines recommend ($ 10,000-$ 20,000 for video alone).