Tomson Group returns to entertainment

Property developer enters Greater China distribution

HONG KONG – Hong Kong-listed property developer Tomson Group ventures into entertainment and film distribution with the formation of the Tomson International Entertainment Distribution Ltd., under the listed group. 

The company will be overseen by Yvonne Chuang, in the position of senior VP and general manager. The main direction of Tomson International Entertainment is now acquisition and distribution of American, European and Asian indies, both commercial and arthouse cinema, as well as Hong Kong-China co-productions, to release in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Tomson now aims to distribute around 10 films per year in the region, said Chuang, who will begin acquiring titles for the company at the upcoming American Film Market in the fall. 

The Hong Kong-based company with a branch in Taiwan is also planning to distribute big-budget co-productions and Chinese productions. “Films like John Woo’s ‘Red Cliff’ or ‘Three Kingdoms’ (starring Andy Lau, Donnie Yen and Maggie Q) were co-produced with a Hong Kong investor and released in Hong Kong and Taiwan with the help of an outside distributor. Apart from the foreign titles, these big-budget Hong Kong-China co-productions are the films we are interested to distribute,” said Chuang, who is experienced in both sales and acquisition during her time managing the Fortune Star Chinese-language film library, then under News Corp., and also film acquisition for Celestial Pictures.

Tomson International Entertainment is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based property developer Tomson Group, which focuses on the development and construction of property in Pudong district, China’s financial hub in Shanghai. The venture marks a return to film industry of Tomson Group chairman Hsu Feng, the award-winning producer from Taiwan, who shepherded such Greater China cinema classics as director Chen Kaige’s “Farewell, My Concubine” (1993) and “Temptress Moon” (1996), along with Yim Ho’s “Red Dust” (1990) before leaving film for property development.

Besides film acquisition and distribution, the company also plays the role of events organizer for Taiwan singers in Hong Kong and vice-versa, and plans to expand into talent management. Tomson International Entertainment is aiming to develop into an integrated entertainment company, with film production as the next step in its three-to-five year plan. The company intends to utilize its background in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China to develop co-production projects in the Greater China region, Chuang said.