Hyde Park steps up Asia commitment


SINGAPORE -- Hyde Park Entertainment's new Asia division is negotiating production joint ventures in South Korea and Japan to add to a regional network that already includes India and Singapore, company chairman and CEO Ashok Amritraj said Tuesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Media Financing Forum, Amritraj said that Hyde Park Asia, established this year, will announce details of its Korean and Japanese joint ventures in the first quarter of 2008.

Hyde Park's local production partnerships in Asia will make films for both global and regional distribution. "It's just a matter of finding which projects suit what marketplace," Amritraj said.

Budgets will be "in keeping with the local film industry," he added, declining to assign dollar figures on the projects.

Success benchmarks and expectations also will be market appropriate.

"We're not expecting a local movie to make $80 million in the U.S. That's not the success we are hoping for. We are hoping for the films to be seen in more markets than they are seen in today," he said. "I don't think that the distribution of Indian or Asian films outside of their home countries is either as good or as broad as it could be."

The new deals follow Hyde Park's U.S.-India romantic comedy "The Other End of the Line," currently shooting in India.

Directed by Jimmy Dodson ("Behind Enemy Lines: Axis of Evil") and starring Jesse Metcalfe, "Line" is scheduled for release late next year.

The film, one of three announced this year by Hyde Park's venture with Indian company Adlabs, will be distributed by MGM in North America and has been presold in 20 countries.