Salon pacts with four Asia partners

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HONG KONG – Local production house Salon Films will ally with four Asian production and finance companies to facilitate filmmaking around the region, Salon chairman Fred Wang announced Wednesday.

Salon will team up with Hengdian World Studios of China, Yoshimoto Kogyo Co. of Japan, MediaCorp Raintree Pictures of Singapore and investment fund Access Asia of the Cayman Islands, company chairman Fred Wang said in a statement released at the Hong Kong Filmart.

"Salon Films and its new partners will provide truly comprehensive services and support to its clients -- from film financing to location management, from the conceptual state to production and post-production," Wang said.

Salon also announced a memorandum of understanding with MediaCorp Raintree to co-produce five films in the next three years, each costing between U.S.$2 million-$15 million.

"The stage is set for the limelight to shine on Asian films," said Daniel Yun, managing director of MediaCorp Raintree. "We want to be a part of it. We think this is the new age of Asian films, rooted in Asian values."

The two companies have already collaborated to produce "Painted Skin," a U.S.$10 million period fantasy starring Donny Yen.

"Here in Asia lies the greatest opportunities," said Christopher Brough, general partner of Access Asia Media. "Like you need two chopsticks to work together, you also need strong partnerships."

Brough said that the new venture had more specific plans about how many and what sort of projects they intended to produce, but he declined to go into detail. "To negotiate successfully in Asia, you need to remain low-key," Brough explained. "We will walk softly, talk quietly."
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