China's Huace, South Korea's NEW Launch Production Joint Venture

'The Beauty Inside'

The two media giants will co-invest and produce Chinese and Korean-language films.

China's Huace and South Korea's Next Entertainment World (NEW) unveiled the launch of a production joint venture on Monday during the 20th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF).

Three co-productions in Chinese and Korean are underway as an office is getting ready to open in Beijing, they said.

The two companies will equally co-invest and co-produce in the films and also share revenue 50-50, said Kim Woo Taek, CEO of NEW. Members of the Korean company will join local staff at the planned Beijing office location, Kim said during the launch ceremony attended by Yoo Young ho, president of Huace Union; John Chiew, director of international business at Huace Pictures; Samuel H. Kim, director of NEW's investment & production division; and BIFF fest director, Lee Yong-kwan, co-director Kang Soo-yeon and honorary director/founder Kim Dong-ho.

Last year during BIFF, Huace made headlines for pledging a $52 million investment in NEW, becoming the Korean investor-distributor's second-largest shareholder. It marked the first and largest collaboration between film companies from the two countries.

"Our companies share the same visions and passion for cinema and will work hard together to help diversify the media culture of Asia," said Kim.

The two companies also announced three new projects.

Huace and NEW jointly purchased the remake rights for South Korean web cartoon strip The Witch by Kang Full. Kim Daewoo (2014's popular romance Obsessed) will direct the Korean version of the film, The Witch (working title), while the Chinese-language version will be created under the auspices of Leste Chen, who directed the box-office smash Twenty! Once Again (the Chinese version of Korean comedy Miss Granny that grossed $59 million at home alone). A director has yet to be chosen for the Mandarin version.

The Beauty Inside, NEW's big summer release, will also get a Chinese remake. Baik, who directed the original Korean film, will also helm the Chinese-language title. The Phone, NEW's film crime thriller starring Hide and Seek (which is also getting a Chinese-language remake) actor Sohn Hyun-joo due in Korean theaters on Oct. 22, will also be created for the Chinese audience. The director has not yet been decided.

Huace has been actively forging cross-border deals, such as inking a deal with Arclight writers earlier this year.

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