Fortissimo Film Sales has picked up a trio of new films from Thailand and China, the hottest producing countries in Asia. And a string of top sales shows that buyers are now lapping up the Asian resurgence.
First addition is Fata La Jone, a romantic comedy from Thailand, by Film Bangkok, the producing team behind Fortissimo's Bangkok Dangerous and Nonzee Nimibutr's soaraway hit Nang Nak. The 1940s-set piece is directed by first timer, Wisit Sasa Natieng, who used extensive digital processing to re-colour the 35mm camera negative. Delivery is scheduled for May 2001.
Set to deliver a boost to Fortissimo's AFM and Cannes slates are two more from Peter Loehr, the only westerner working as an independent producer within mainland China. First to be delivered will be All The Way, directed by Shi Run Jiu, director of Beautiful New World, which stars Hong Kong superstar Karen Mok. By Cannes, Loehr is also scheduled to deliver Quitting, the next film by Zhang Yang, director of widely-sold Shower.
With Yongyooth Thongkonthun's Iron Ladies, Pen-ek Ratanaruang's 6ixtynin9, Bangkok Dangerous and, as of MIFED, responsibility for selling outstanding territories on Nang Nak, Fortissimo has amassed a current catalogue of five Thai films.
Iron Ladies, which has outgrossed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in Hong Kong with a box office take of HK$16m, has proved a hot seller: Dong-A bought the picture for Korea, Long Shang bought it for Thailand, Solar for the Philippines, Clockwork-Parko took Japanese rights. Deals are now pending for Germany, Israel, Russia, Benelux, France and Scandinavia.
Bangkok Dangerous was sold to Remstar for Canada, Clockwork for Japan and Edko for Hong Kong.
Belgian title Thomas In Love, which was one of the highlights of the recent Venice festival, was sold to Nippon Herald for Japan, Key Films for Italy and Dong-A for Korea, Pro-optiki for Greece, A-Lab for The Netherlands, Cine-libre for Belgium, Film Co-op for Switzerland, and SHB Films for Israel. A US deal is expected to be closed by the end of the market.
Understanding Jane, Caleb Lindsay's British film about a dating scam, was picked up by Cinema Village for the US, DRS for Switzerland, NPS for The Netherlands and Latina for Mexico.