Zurich-based film distributor Ascot Elite Entertainment Group has acquired distribution rights in German speaking Europe to Wilson Yip's SPL. This encompasses the territories of Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Stephan Giger, COO of Ascot said that, "We have currently several Hong Kong productions on our acquisitions radar, trying as usual to cherry-pick the most promising in terms of commercial and artistic value."
"In our territory," he continued, "several distributors have HK titles in their slate, some of them putting 2-3 titles on the market per month, regardless of the actual suitability for western audiences - for example, dramas and comedies are hard to market in Germany. This inflation of Hong Kong films and Asian titles in general has made it hard for the end consumer to separate the grain from the chaff, challenging us to optimize the launch of our quality titles."
Ascot are currently planning for the proposed December 2006 release of SPL in their territories. Mr Giger says that they have been following the plans of The Weinstein Company in their marketing strategies for the film in order to use some of them for their own domestic release.
SPL had its world premiere at the Toronto film festival last year in the "Midnight Madness" sidebar, and this year has made the rounds of the Deauville Asian Film Festival, Moscow Film Festival, and the Munich Fantasy Film Festival, the latter being the film's European premiere.
(hkfilmart August 10, 2006)