Korean distribution company Shinabro Entertainment has secured a $50m cash pool for acquisition of rights to Hollywood movies and a drive into Korean production.
The funding comes from Isoo Venture Capital, part of the giant Isoo Chemical group. The five-year, non-exclusive deal sees Isoo put up financing for the acquisition of Korean rights to "tent-pole" Hollywood films, which already have a US distributor in place. Pictures will be sourced via Ken Nakamura's Toronto-based Midori Multimedia, which previously held a similar agency function on behalf of another Korean firm Dong-A. Shinabro will then handle the Korean release and earn a distribution fee.
Three year-old Shinabro, headed by Bruce D Lee, will continue to acquire smaller-budget titles on its own without dipping into the Isoo fund. Recent acquisitions have included Plots With A View from Vine International and Original Sin from MGM. Later this month it is set to handle HanWay's Help I'm A Fish.
Isoo funds are, however, also likely to be used to fund Shinabro's expansion into the Korean production scene. Shinabro is keen to be part of the boom which has seen Korean titles garner a 45% share of the local box office and will fully-fund films on a picture-by-picture basis. With Isoo backing, it recently produced its first, the action comedy Family, directed by first timer Choi Jin Won, with an ensemble cast including Da Hoon, Hwang Shin Hye, Kim Min Jong and Hwang In Young. The film is set for release on Aug 23.
Midori was previously responsible for acquiring Korean rights to Carolco titles including Basic Instinct and Cliffhanger.