Quartet adds heft to Asia film showcase

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CANNES -- Industry heavyweights including 20th Century Fox international distribution co-president Paul Hanneman, producer Ashok Amritraj, financier and former Columbia studio chief Greg Coote and Fortissimo Film Sales chairman Michael Werner have come aboard plans to launch an industry showcase event in Singapore.

Slated for June 2011, ScreenSingapore hopes to use the allure of Far East boxoffice to entice the overseas releasing arms of the major studios to trumpet their summer tentpoles and major releases. The event will also provide a shop window for Asian cinema.

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In his capacity as ScreenSingapore board chairman, Coote said he expects to be able to persuade the studios to bring in talent and program major releases at the inaugural event next year.

"As the U.S. market matures and the growth in the business shifts to outside of the U.S., Asia grows in importance," Coote said. "Singapore will leverage its position as the gateway to Asia and grow a global event that not only services the broad regional exhibition industry but also positions the summer product for release."

The event also will include a film market and a technology event as well as conferences, workshops and finance forums.

Coote and company played down competition with other such events including CineExpo in Amsterdam, owned and run by The Hollywood Reporter parent e5 Global Media.

"The focus is Asia and Asian countries," Coote said. "We can co-exist with Cannes or Amsterdam." The backers have sandwiched it between the French event and the American summer.

ScreenSingapore is backed by the Media Development Authority of Singapore, the Singapore Tourism Board and its Economic Development Board.

"Anchoring an international cinema event in Singapore enhances our efforts to grow the media sector," MDA CEO Christopher Chia said. "It will also provide an annual platform for global talents, filmmakers and the business community to congregate in Singapore, a natural gateway that bridges the best of East and West."
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