News Corp-owned broadcaster Star TV has ended its eight-year film distribution contract with Hong Kong's Media Asia Group, following the launch of its own international distribution unit, Fortune Star Pictures.

Media Asia has handled worldwide distribution of the 600-title Star film library since 1994. It will now be distributed by Star's recently launched theatrical production and distribution outfit, Fortune Star, headed by former Media Asia deputy general manager Peter Poon.

The library, which Star claims is the world's largest collection of Chinese-language films, contains worldwide rights in perpetuity to a number of titles from Hong Kong's Golden Harvest and defunct Hong Kong studios Golden Princess and D&B. Titles include Jackie Chan's Police Story series and the Once Upon A Time series starring Jet Li.

Fortune Star plans to establish direct distribution operations and international distribution alliances throughout Asia. The company also expects to produce four to five theatrical features a year as well as with made-for-TV productions and documentaries.

Star also has a five-year output deal with Media Asia granting it exclusive pay-TV and internet rights to Media Asia's upcoming films. The agreement, inked in August 2000, remains in place.