Fortune Star, the production and distribution arm of Asian regional broadcaster Star TV, has signed a distribution deal with sister company Fox Home Entertainment for release of its classic martial arts library titles in the US.

According to Fortune Star general manager Peter Poon, Fox will launch the first batch of library titles on the DVD format in mid-July under a new label.

"We then plan to release titles on a quarterly basis over a minimum period of the next three years," said Poon speaking from Hong Kong.

The first releases include City Hunter, starring Jackie Chan; Magnificent Warriors, with Michelle Yeoh; Hong Kong 1941, with Chow Yun-Fat; cult classic Naked Killer and Magnificent Butcher, directed by Yuen Wo-Ping and starring Sammo Hung.

Star TV owns around 600 Chinese-language films most of which were produced by Golden Harvest (up until 1992) and two defunct production houses Golden Princess and D&B. Fortune Star is in the process of restoring the library to HDTV standards and each release will feature a Dolby Digital audio track, English and Chinese-language subtitles and extras including interviews with the stars.

The company is also putting into place a raft of distribution deals across Asia which it hopes to lock down in the next few weeks.

Fortune Star recently hired former EMG distribution and acquisition manager May Yip to head up international distribution. However Poon and Yip chose not to attend this year's Cannes due to concerns over SARS.