Hyde Park ups Asia ops with $74 mil

'Singapore the perfect city for new Asian offices'

CANNES -- Ashok Amritraj's Hyde Park Entertainment is expanding its Asian operations with a multimillion-dollar film fund.

Launching in the fall, the fund will provide about S$75 million-$100 million ($54 million-$72 million) of equity and debt for the production of feature films. Hyde Park Asia's offices will be based in Singapore.

"Singapore is the perfect city to base our new Asian offices," Amritraj said. "Asia has wonderful talent and facilities, along with great growth potential."

Dr. Christopher Chia, CEO of the Media Development Authority of Singapore, said: "We welcome Hyde Park Asia to Singapore, whose presence further strengthens Singapore's position as a media business exchange where New Asia Media projects are created, financed and distributed."

Chia added that he expects the production fund to boost Singapore's status as a global media city and attract more exciting film projects and talent. Hyde Park Asia will produce or co-produce three or four films per year, a mixture of major Hollywood films and cross-cultural titles aimed at a global audience.

Hyde Park already has films shooting in Asia including "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li," which is based on the Japanese "Street Fighter" video game franchise; and "The Other End of the Line," a romantic comedy that recently wrapped and will be released by MGM.

As an East/West conduit, Hyde Park Asia will discover new talent throughout the continent and will provide a platform for actors and filmmakers to segue into Hollywood films.

In India, Amritraj already has a three-picture deal with Adlabs Films, the movie arm of India's most powerful entertainment conglomerate, Reliance Entertainment. Adlabs also may be involved in co-financing films with Hyde Park Asia.

Hyde Park International, the foreign sales arm of the Hyde Park Entertainment Group, headed by sales veteran Lisa Wilson, will handle all foreign territories. Hyde Park Asia will arrange North American distribution for the company's films.