New fund aims to boost 3D films in China

Triumphant looking to raise $17 million to back three-pic slate

HONG KONG -- Hoping to offer investors a chance to help slake China's thirst for 3D in the wake of "Avatar," an investment banker-turned-producer has joined two Hong Kong movie veterans to open a pair of film funds at Filmart 2010.

Triumphant Film Funds will attempt to raise $17 million before the Cannes Film Festival in May to back a three-picture slate of martial arts action films and 3D sci-fi films aimed at investors interested in China's film market -- where boxoffice jumped 43% last year.

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"Hollywood-quality 3D at Asian prices is our goal," said ex-Lehman Brothers trader Guy Orlebar, who will try to tap his investment industry contacts to raise the funds while his film veteran partners ensure they are spent wisely.

Orlebar, whose real name is Andy Garrett, founded Triumphant with veteran Hong Kong low-budget line-producer Ricky K.K. Wong of Cine-Century Entertainment, and veteran casting director and Screen Ops producer "Big" Mike Leeder ("Australia"). Wong and Leeder bring more than 40 years of filmmaking experience to the partnership, Orlebar said.

Triumphant's planned first films are the $10 million sci-fi epic "Future Fighters"; a live-action adaptation of Ray Bradbury's seminal novel "Frost and Fire" -- made with the Alexander Entertainment Group in Los Angeles; and the police vs. triad action film tentatively-titled "AVP" -- taken from the first initials of its confirmed cast: Hong Konger action star Andy On ("True Legend"), Taiwanese boy-band heartthrob Vanness Wu ("Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon"), and Philip Ng ("Bodyguards and Assassins"), who also will action direct, Orlebar said.

Triumphant hopes to start shooting "Future Fighters" early next year with action direction by Dee Dee Ku of Master Yuen Wo Ping's renowned stunt team.

The cast will include "Avatar" stunt performer Reuben Langdon, who also is an actor and the president of a Japan-based motion-capture company Just Cause. Also starring is Japanese actor Kazuya Shimizu ("Big Man Japan") and a host of human-piloted mechanized walking warriors.
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