Milt Barlow on the Challenges of Bringing Chinese Films to U.S.
Veteran Australian distributor and former Village Roadshow CEO talks about distributing films in a language he doesn't speak and leaks news about his new company's slate.
At 59, Milt Barlow, the veteran Australian distributor and former CEO of Village Roadshow (1988-98), has found a new life taking Chinese cinema to the Chinese Diaspora. Having grown his own business in New Zealand into a company that Village Roadshow bought and turned from a $35 million video business to a $250 million broad-based entertainment distribution business in New Zealand and Australia in 10 years, Barlow is now focused on how to repeat that success at his new company, China Lion, in a new market altogether. An exclusive partner with AMC, the No. 2 U.S. exhibitor (5,500 screens), to bring Chinese films to North America, China Lion will deliver 15 pictures from China to big-city America and Canada each year, a "catchment area" of about 2.5 million Chinese living mostly in and around New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto. China Lion also plans to find a partner in Vancouver, where AMC has little presence. On the sidelines of the American Film Market on Wednesday, Barlow caught up with The Hollywood Reporter's Jonathan Landreth and leaked a bit of news about which films are next on the new company's slate.
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