Cannes: New Sales Outfit Ablaze Takes Jay Chou’s ‘Rooftop’

6 REP Jay Chou
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Chou under a banner graphic for "The Green Hornet" at a Beijing news conference.

The martial-arts musical is the Taiwanese singer-actor’s second directorial effort.

Taiwanese actor-singer Jay Chou’s martial-arts musical The Rooftop has become the first film to be repped by new sales outfit Ablaze Image Ltd.

Chou played the role of Kato in The Green Hornet.

The company, officially launched at Cannes and founded by Edko Film’s former international sales and distribution head June Wu, will shop the film’s screenings rights in Asian territories beyond mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. A trailer of the film was unveiled on stage during the closing ceremony of the Beijing International Film Festival last month.

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In a statement, Ablaze also announced a strategic investment from Liu Weijan’s Atom Cinema and One Production Film, helmed by actress-turned-producer Lee Lieh. As part of the deal, Wu’s company will now handle international sales for its two partners’ new films and library.

Atom Cinema, which counted producer Chen Kuo-fu and director Doze Niu as investors, was behind local hits such as Arvin Chen’s Au Revoir Taipei and Yang Ya-che’s Gf*Bf, while Lee’s shingle was behind the recent Berlin festival entry Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

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“As Taiwanese, we are thrilled to see the growth and commercial success of Taiwan cinema in the past few years,” Lee, Liu and Wu said in a joint statement. “We share the vision that it is the time for Taiwan to have a truly professional and independent sales company dedicated to the commercial success and international acclaim of Chinese language films in the international marketplace.”

The island’s filmmakers will be represented at Cannes this year by Taipei Factory, an omnibus-film project involving four segments jointly helmed by Taiwanese and foreign directors and backed by the Taipei Film Commission and the Director’s Fortnight.

Three Taiwanese films were selected for the Berlin film festival in February, all of them involving Lee Lieh. In addition to producing Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?, she also starred in Chang Chung-chi’s Touch of the Light and Hsu Chao-jen’s Together.