Film Business Asia: Ablaze takes Rice Bomber, Sweet Alibis


Ablaze takes Rice Bomber, Sweet Alibis

By Stephen Cremin
Mon, 23 December 2013, 21:55 PM (HKT)

Sales News
Taipei-based sales agency Ablaze Image Ltd 光在影像股份有限公司 has picked up two local films ahead of the European Film Market.

The two titles are CHO Li 卓立’s political drama The Rice Bomber 白米炸彈客 andLIEN Yi-chi 連奕琦’s police comedy Sweet Alibis 甜蜜殺機 (pictured). The former has been announced in the Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival.

Cho’s film is based on the true story of a farmer who made rice bombs in a political protest of the Taiwan government’s joining of the WTO in 2002, which had a serious impact on the economic fortunes of rural areas.
Lien’s film, his follow-up to Make Up 命運化妝師 (2011), is about a cowardly veteran cop and a sassy rookie who pair up to investigate a series of murders. It stars Alec SU蘇有朋, Ariel LIN 林依晨 and Matt WU 吳中天.
Ablaze Image are also representing Umin Boya 馬志翔’s KANO KANO, YEE Chih-yen 易智言’s Lefty Sky 行動代號孫中山 at EFM, both of which are currently in post-production. Its library titles include Zone Pro Site 總舖師.

The Rice Bomber is scheduled to be released in Taiwan in early April 2014. Sweet Alibis opens on 17 Jan 2014.

Film Business Asia: Ablaze Image picks up Kano and Lefty Sky


Ablaze Image picks up Kano and Lefty Sky


By Kevin Ma
Tue, 01 October 2013, 10:15 AM (HKT)

Sales News
Taiwan’s Ablaze Image Ltd 光在影像股份有限公司 announced that it has picked up two high-profile projects from Taiwan ahead of the Busan International Film Festival 부산국제영화제’s Asian Film Market.

Kano KANO (pictured) is based on a true story about a multi-ethnic baseball team from Taiwan in Japan’s high school baseball championship. It is the directorial debut of Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (賽德克・巴萊) (2011) star Umin Boya (馬志翔). The period drama is produced by Seediq director WEI Te-sheng (魏德聖) and producer Jimmy HUANG (黃志明). Still in post-production, it is currently targeting a 28 Feb 2014 release after Chinese New Year.

Lefty Sky (行動代號孫中山) is the first feature film in 13 years by Blue Gate Crossing (藍色大門) (2002) director YEE Chih-yen (易智言). The youth drama follows two high school students competing to steal their school’s bronze statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. Produced by Ablaze-backer LEE Lieh (李烈), the film just completed production and is aiming for an Aug 2014 theatrical release.

Ablaze is also handling international sales for Zone Pro Site (總舖師), Step Back to Glory (志氣), When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep (南方小羊牧場) and Gf*Bf (女朋友 男朋友).

Variety: Ablaze Fires Up Hot Pair For Busan


Ablaze Fires Up Hot Pair For Busan


SEPTEMBER 29, 2013 | 10:35PM PT

Taiwan’s top 2014 titles head for market debut

Patrick Frater
Asia Bureau Chief

HONG KONG – Two of Taiwan’s biggest film titles for 2014 will make their market debuts in Busan next week, having been picked up by new sales company Ablaze Image.

The company, headed by former Edko executive June Wu, is handling the big-budget directorial debut of actor Umin Boya (aka Ma Chih-hsiang). His “Kano” about a multi-ethnic baseball team is produced by the Wei Te-sheng and Jimmy Huang, the pair behind the 2011 epic “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale.”

Made on a budget of $10 million, the film stars an impressive Japanese cast including Nagase Masatoshi, Osawa Takao, Sakai Maki and Igawa Togo. It is set to release in Taiwan in Feb 2014.

Ablaze is also handling “Lefty Sky,” only the third film by Yee Chih-Yen, director of 2002 “Blue Gate Crossing,” which was released in the U.S. by Strand Releasing. Comedy-drama “Lefty” is a story of two teenage boys who each hatch a plot to steal a statue of Sun Yat-sen from their school. The picture is put together by top producer Lee Lieh, producer of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” and this year’s hit “Zone Pro Site: The Moveable Feast.” Having wrapped last week, the film will release in August next year.

Backed by Atom Cinema and One Production Film, Ablaze was established earlier this year to handle the current crop of movies from Taiwan. It is also handling “Zone Pro Site” and library titles including “GF*BF.”

The Busan International Film Festival runs Oct. 3-12, 2013. Its accompanying Asian Film Market and Asian Project Market run Oct. 7-10, 2013.

Screen Daily: Ablaze Image picks up high-profile duo

Ablaze Image picks up high-profile duo


30 September, 2013 | By 

Taipei-based sales company Ablaze Image has picked up international rights to Kano, produced by Wei Te-sheng (Warriors Of The Rainbow: Seediq Bale), and Yee Chih-yen’s long-awaited third feature.

Kano, a $10m sports drama based on a true story, marks the directorial debut of Umin Boya (also known by his Chinese name Ma Chih-Hsiang). Set in the 1920s when Taiwan was under Japanese rule, the story focuses on a multi-ethnic baseball team making its way to Japan’s high school baseball championship.

Wei Te-sheng and Jummy Huang, the creative team behind Warriors Of The Rainbow: Seediq Bale, are producing the film which is currently in post-production for a February 2014 release. The cast includes Japanese actors Masatoshi Nagase, Takao Osawa, Maki Sakai and Togo Igawa.

Yee Chih-yen’s Lefty Sky (working title) is the Taiwanese director’s first film in 11 years since his award-winningBlue Gate Crossing.

Produced by Lee Lieh (Zone Pro Site: The Moveable Feast), the comedy drama revolves around two intelligent teenage boys attempting to steal their school’s bronze statue of Dr Sun Yat-Sen. The film recently wrapped and will be released in Taiwan in August 2014.

Ablaze Image will start sales on the two titles at the upcoming Asian Film Market in Busan, where it will also be handling recent Taiwanese hit Zone Pro Site and Atom Cinema library titles such as Step Back To GloryWhen The Wolf Falls In Love With A Sheep and GF*BF.

Founded by former Edko Films international sales chief June Wu, Ablaze Image is partnered with leading Taiwanese production houses Atom Cinema and One Production Film Co.

Film Business Asia: Zone Pro Site keeps Riddick out of spotlight


Zone Pro Site keeps Riddick out of spotlight


By Stephen Cremin
Mon, 09 September 2013, 16:50 PM (HKT)

Box Office News
Zone Pro Site: The Moveable Feast (總舖師) was the top-grossing film at the Taipei box office for the third weekend, on its fourth week on release.

The Taiwan comedy, which has its international premiere at next month’s Busan International Film Festival (부산국제영화제), made NT$9.20 million (US$310,000) over the weekend for a current gross of NT$71.6 million (US$2.41 million) in the capital.

Although figures outside Taipei can not be verified, the film’s Facebook page this weekend claimed that it had grossed NT$200 million (US$6.73 million) nationwide by Saturday evening after 23 days on release.

After keeping Kick-Ass 2 and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones off the top of the charts in recent weeks, Zone Pro Site bested Riddick this weekend. The new release made NT$8.08 million in Taipei over the three day weekend.

Two Taiwan documentaries opened at the weekend, YANG Li-chou (楊力州)’s Bridge Over Troubled Water (拔一條河) and HSU Ming-chun (許明淳)’s The Legend of Ataabu (阿罩霧風雲). They opened on NT$1.57 million and NT$0.63 million respectively.

Film Business Asia: Zone Pro Site remains atop Taipei box office


Zone Pro Site remains atop Taipei box office

總舖師still photo 421

By Stephen Cremin
Mon, 02 September 2013, 17:55 PM (HKT)

Box Office News
In its third weekend in cinemas, local comedy Zone Pro Site: The Moveable Feast (總舖師) was the highest grossing film in Taipei, making more money than the combined box office of two new Hollywood releases.

With the addition of NT$13.5 million (US$452,000) this weekend, it has now taken NT$55.8 million (US$1.87 million) in 17 days. The box office dropped less than 1% on last weekend’s NT$13.6 million.

New releases The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and We’re the Millers made NT$7.40 million and NT$5.97 million respectively. The latter is distributed by Zone Pro Site’s Warner Bros (Taiwan) Inc (美商華納兄弟 (遠東) 股份有限公司臺灣分公司).

Other new releases this weekend include Tiny Times 2 (小時代:青木時代), which made NT$1.27 million (US$42,800) on eleven screens. The original Tiny Times 1 (小時代), which also features many Taiwan cast and crew, opened on NT$1.38 million.

Also released this weekend, CHUNG Mong-hong (鍾孟宏’s) Soul 失魂 made NT$867,000 (US$29,100) on 11 screens in the Taiwan capital.

Film Business Asia: Zone Pro Site grows 67% in second weekend


Zone Pro Site grows 67% in second weekend

ZPS Still

By Stephen Cremin
Mon, 26 August 2013, 20:35 PM (HKT)

Box Office News
The box office of Taiwan food comedy Zone Pro Site: The Moveable Feast (總舖師) grew 67% on its second weekend on release in Taipei.

Over three days the film made NT$13.6 million (US$454,000), almost twice as much as new entry Kick-Ass 2, on NT$7.04 million (US$235,000), which was second-placed over the three-day weekend.

Zone Pro Site has now taken NT$31.2 million (US$1.04 million) in the capital. It has performed particularly well on weekdays, making NT$3.28 million (US$110,000) on Wed 21 Aug when businesses were closed due to a typhoon.

The highest-grossing domestic film this year is another local comedy, David Loman (大尾鱸鰻), which made NT$122 million (US$4.07 million) in Taipei on release in February. It also stars Zone Pro Site’s Tony YANG (楊祐寧).

Like David Loman, Zone Pro Site is distributed through Warner Bros (Taiwan) Inc (美商華納兄弟 (遠東) 股份有限公司臺灣分公司). The new film is represented internationally by Ablaze Image Ltd (光在影像股份有限公司).

Film Business Asia: Moveable Feast lands in Taipei box office zone


Moveable Feast lands in Taipei box office zone

總舖師still photo 133

By Stephen Cremin
Mon, 19 August 2013, 18:45 PM (HKT)

Box Office News

Zone Pro Site: The Moveable Feast(總舖師) had the second biggest opening of the year for a Chinese-language film in Taipei, securing NT$8.13 million (US$272,000) over three days on 23 screens.

The comedy is about a failed model who, after returning to her hometown, finds the family business of arranging huge banquets has been reduced to a single noodle stand. She sets out to rejuvenate the business with the help of a former customer.

The film markets the return to feature film directing of CHEN Yu-hsun(陳玉勳) after a decade-and-a-half. In recent years, he shot shorts as part of the portmanteau films Juliets (茱麗葉) (2010) and 10+10 (十加十) (2011).

In February, local comedy David Loman (大尾鱸鰻) made NT$16.0 million (US$534,000) in its first three days. Three years ago, young gangster drama Monga (艋舺) (2010) opened on NT$26.0 million (US$879,000).

Like Loman and Monga, the film was distributed in Taiwan through Warner Bros (Taiwan) Inc (美商華納兄弟 (遠東) 股份有限公司臺灣分公司) who also invested. Marketing was by Steve WANG (王師)’s Activators Marketing Co Ltd (牽猴子整合行銷股份有限公司).

Yesterday, Wang claimed on Facebook that Zone Pro Site had taken NT$14.5 million (US$484,000) in its first two days in cinemas nationwide, but the number can’t be independently verified.

The Taiwan-produced film was runner-up to another new release, Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters, which made NT$10.5 million (US$349,000) on 20 screens. Elysium 엘리시움 (2001), The Conjuring and The Purge took the third, fourth and fifth slots.

Still on release, Pacific Rim and Monsters University have now taken NT$120 million (US$4.01 million) and NT$101 million (US$3.36 million) respectively.

World sales of Zone Pro Site is represented by the recently-launched Ablaze Image Ltd (光在影像股份有限公司) in Taipei.

Cannes 2013: Screen Daily


Wu teams with producers to launch Taiwanese sales outfit

14 May, 2013 | By Liz Shackleton

Former Edko Films’ sales chief June Wu has launched a Taiwanbased sales company, Ablaze Image, which has picked up Jay Chou’s kungfu musical The Rooftop. The company has also secured strategic investment from two of Taiwan’s leading production outfits – Liu Weijan’s Atom Cinema and Lee Lieh’s One Production Film Co.

Originally a distributor, Atom Cinema stepped into production in 2008 with films such as Arvin Chen’s Au Revoir Taipei and Yache Yang’s Gf*Bf. One Production Film Co has credits including Doze Niu’s Monga and Arvin Chen’s latest film Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

Ablaze has Australian and Asian rights, excluding China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, to Chou’s film. The company will also be taking over sales responsibilities for upcoming features and library titles from Atom Cinema and One Production Film Co. Former Atom Cinema sales exec Desmond Yang will focus on acquisition.

“As Taiwanese, we are thrilled to see the growth and commercial success of Taiwan cinema in the past few years. We share the vision that it is time for Taiwan to have a truly professional and independent sales company dedicated to the commercial success and international acclaim of Chineselanguage films in the international marketplace,” said Lee Lieh, Liu Weijan and June Wu in a joint statement.

Cannes 2013: Film Business Asia


Ablaze launches with hot Chou title

By Patrick Frater and Stephen Cremin

Wed, 15 May 2013, 02:10 AM (HKT)

Sales News
New Taiwan sales company Ablaze Image is launching at the Cannes market with Jay CHOU 周杰倫’s second film as a director, romance kung-fu comedy musical The Rooftop 天台.

The new Taipei-based company, headed by June WU 吳蕙君 (pictured), has Asian rights to the highly-anticipated title including India and Australia but excluding China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.

Wu previously headed sales at Edko Films Ltd 安樂影片有限公司 and worked in distribution at both Media Asia Film Distribution (HK) Ltd 寰亞影視發行(香港)有限公司 in Hong Kong and Group Power Workshop Co Ltd 群體娛樂有限公司 in Taiwan.

In a statement, Wu says that the companies activities will span international sales and domestic distribution within Taiwan and that it is dedicated to bringing quality Chinese language films to a worldwide audiences.

Ablaze has strategic investment from LIU Wei-jan 劉蔚然’s Atom Cinema Co Ltd 原子映象有限公司 and LEE Lieh 李烈’s 1 Production Film 影一製作所股份有限公司 whose titles they will now represent.

Desmond YANG 楊鎧宇, former sales head at Atom, will remain with the company but will now handle film acquisitions. He takes the new position in June when Ablaze has become fully operational.

“We share the vision that it is the time for Taiwan to have a truly professional and independent sales company dedicated to the commercial success… of Chinese language films in the international marketplace,” said Lee, Liu and Wu.

In The Rooftop, popular musician Chou co-stars with Gary YANG 楊瑞代 and Alan KO 柯有倫. The film is currently in post-production and is scheduled for release simultaneously in Taiwan and China on 7 July.

Ablaze has also acquired Taiwan rights of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard title Bends 過界, by first time Hong Kong director Flora LAU 劉韻文.