Cannes 2012: U.S. and Malaysia Duo Pact to Bring Martial Arts to Market

The Collector

U.S. outfit Birch Tree Entertainment and Malaysia's Astro Shaw seal a deal to produce and distribute movies with James Lee's "The Collector" debuting at the Marche du Film.

CANNES - Buyers looking to chop up some martial arts fun are to be enticed by the latest American and Asian company alliance.

U.S. action film stable Birch Tree Entertainment and Malaysia's Astro Shaw production banner have inked a deal to produce and distribute a slate of martial arts action films.

Birch Tree will handle worldwide sales for Astro Shaw’s action films beginning with The Collector, Apokalips X and Crash through the deal.

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The Collector unites director James Lee and martial arts stuntman Sunny Pang and marks its market debut during the Marche du Film alongside Apokalips X, a post-apocalyptic FX actioner, marking the action debut of director Mamat Khalid.

The two companies are in development on a further slate of martial arts action films with trio of titles to begin production in Malaysia in 2012.

Astro Shaw will produce with Birch Tree distributing.

"Malaysia has a strong tradition of action filmmaking and Birch Tree will ensure the world experiences this tradition,” said Birch Tree president and CEO Art Birzneck. “The production resources of Astro Shaw and Birch Tree’s experience and connections in the international action marketplace will make our companies an unstoppable team.”

“Astro Shaw looks forward to working with Birch Tree Entertainment to introduce our action films to the international marketplace. Our production team headed by Imillya Irwani will work closely with Art Birzneck to ensure that we provide the worldwide marketplace with high quality, high concept action films that appeal to the international audience,” added Astro Shaw vice president Gayatri Su-lin Pillai.

The aim of the pact is do feed the perceived global appetite for high concept, high quality action films with marital arts at the heart, with the companies pointing to the success of the Ong-Bak franchise, District B13 and most recently The Raid: Redemption.

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