Johnny Lin’s Filmula and Allen Liu‘s E Stars are teaming to finance U.S. and international movies for distribution in China, the parties said at AFM today. Filmula will produce and co-finance with E Stars films ranging from commercial tentpoles to Oscar-driven material for E Stars to distribute.
The deal also will incorporate Indian financing., they said.
Lin was an executive producer of the Tom Cruise crime thriller American Made and, through his relationship with Brian Oliver’s New Republic Pictures, has an overall deal with Paramount. His relationship with Liu dates to the 1990s, when Liu was working with Lin and his father, Jimmy Lin, who produced Jet Li’s breakthrough The Legend films, introduced Laser Disc technology to the Pan-Asian market in the ’80s, and set up an output deal with New Line Cinema for distribution in Taiwan.
“Early on, I was exposed to an intriguing and collaborative environment created by Johnny and his father Jimmy, a most formidable producer and distributor in the ’80s and early ’90s,” said Liu, whose China-based E Stars has release such films as Dangal and The Expendables. “I modeled my business on their market-cornering methods and output deal with New Line Cinema. … I trust Johnny’s taste in projects … and now my job is to facilitate successful China releases while he structures financial plans and amasses and develops quality content.”
Said the younger Lin: “Allen’s record speaks for itself. E Stars opened the Chinese market and is now shattering boundaries. Its distribution prowess has exceeded all expectations, providing us with an opportunity to replicate success with a new breed of films for the Chinese audience.” Los Angeles-based Filmula’s upcoming slate includes Lion in Winter, Rise and Sacrifice.