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Asian territories gather for 'Assembly'

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Media Asia has presold the feature "The Assembly" by Feng Xiaogang across Southeast Asia for undisclosed sums at the American Film Market, distribution and sales chief Jeffrey Chan said.

Hong Kong-based Media Asia, a 20% equity partner in the film from Beijing-based Huayi Brothers Film Investment Co., presold the war story to the Shaw Organization as a part of the renewal of its two-year output deal with that Singapore-based distributor, Chan said Friday.

Golden Screen in Malaysia, Rose Media and Entertainment in Thailand, and Galaxy Studio in Vietnam also bought rights to the $10 million film about a Chinese communist solider seeking recognition for comrades killed in the war against the nationalists who eventually fled to Taiwan, Chan said.

Cable TV distribution rights across Southeast Asia went to Celestial of Hong Kong as a part of its output deal with Media Asia, Chan said, adding that Taiwan cable rights went to Eastern Broadcasting.

"The last pieces of the Southeast Asia puzzle are theatrical and video in Taiwan," Chan said, noting that those deals will take time to work out because of quota limitations on imported films imposed by Taiwan, a self-governing island the mainland considers a renegade province.

Media Asia will distribute "The Assembly" itself in theaters and on video in Hong Kong.

Separately, Chan said Media Asia is in talks to sell North American rights to Feng's "The Banquet," starring Zhang Ziyi, Hong Kong's candidate for best foreign-language film at the 2007 Academy Awards.