Six companies form Asia Alliance

Agreement promises a dozen films

HENGDIAN, China -- Six Asian companies Sunday signed an agreement to form the Asia Alliance and develop at least 10 films in coming years, one of the group's members said.

Participating production companies include Salon Films of Hong Kong, Hengdian Group of China, Yoshimoto Kogyo of Japan, Zoomhunt of Taiwan, Korea’s SBS and Singapore’s Raintree Mediacorp - which was absent at the signing but had a prior agreement with Salon – and Access Asia Film Fund, signed an agreement of Asia Alliance.

The partnership was first announced at Filmart in Hong Kong in March, but Sunday's signing formalized the relationship and added Zoomhunt and SBS.

The Alliance is a coalition of “Asian countries with a culture of eating rice with chopsticks” and will develop 10 or more films with Access Asia, which is shepherded by award-winning producer John Heyman (“A Passage to India”), over a period of two to six years, Salon chairman Fred Wang said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

The partnership also signals an attempt for China “to integrate into the international system,” said Wang, “and brings up Chinese filmmaking to international standards.” The companies hope to introduce a standardized process of filmmaking in China, including banking and legal procedures that match the international norm.

All the projects will all be shot in high-definition. “Film will be obsolete in five to 10 years,” said Wang, whose family founded Salon and cornered the equipment market in Hong Kong and China for the last 50 years, and has experience in collaborations with foreign filmmakers since “The World of Suzie Wong” in 1960.