MTV and leading Dutchdistributor A Film have struck a wide-ranging licensing and co-branding dealcovering Asian films.

The deal sees MTV in theNetherlands and Flanders buy rights to a slate of some 50 Asian genre titlesfrom A Films and has the music channel adopt Asia Mania, a home entertainmentlabel spanning the catalogues of A Films and art-house distributor BrightAngel. The music channel will programme the films in a year-long guaranteedstrand at 10pm every Friday, with repeats on Saturday night.

In return, A Films' DVDshave already been repackaged to carry the MTV Asian Screen brand.

The deal was struck by AFilms chief San Fu Maltha and MTV Benelux' Dan Ligtvoet and Joris van Heuklomafter a meeting at last year's MIP-COM.

"This is not really aboutthe licence fees, it is more of a promotion tool that works for both parties,"said Maltha. "There doesn't have to be a window between TV and DVD releases. Soit can be seen as a different way of exploiting our rights."

Maltha says the deal stemmedfrom a desire to find an outlet for foreign language commercial and genretitles at a time when most Netherlands commercial broadcasters focus onEnglish-language fare and public channels shy away from mainstream titles.

"MTV is the perfect partnerfor us, but the deal only works because in The Netherlands and Flanders it is afree-to-air channel and because the region's three music channels need todifferentiate themselves by use of different non-music content," said Maltha."It targets young trendsetters and the kind of people who might have seen theHong Kong films that inspired Quentin Tarantino."

"The retail response hasbeen very enthusiastic, especially as the films are to be shown with commercialbreaks, something we hope will minimise home copying.

A Film's Hong Kong FilMartacquisitions included Korean genre titles Red Shoes, Bittersweet Life,Duellists and Fighter In The Wind.