(July 20, 2006 – Burbank, CA) - Warner China Film HG Corporation, which established its headquarters in mid-2005 within the venerable Beijing Film Studio premises, has scored with its inaugural release, “Crazy Stone” (“Fengkuang de Shitou”), a low-budget, edgy black comedy heist film directed by PRC newcomer Ning Hao. Shot in digital video, “Crazy Stone” is based on an original script developed by Ning Hao, one of China’s top music video directors, and his co-writers. Released by Warner China Film, “Crazy Stone” premiered to an enthusiastic reception at the recent Shanghai Film Festival. The nationwide release kicked off with 87 prints on June 30 and built to 105 as the full print run was introduced and additional prints were struck at the request of local exhibitors. Director Ning and the cast visited eight cities – some of which have rarely if ever been visited by filmmakers and talent - on a nationwide promotional tour. Driven by excellent word of mouth and comprehensive media coverage, “Crazy Stone” quickly took over the number one spot at the box office, where it remained until the July 11 debut of “Superman Returns.” The film’s current box office receipts have surpassed 12 million RMB (US$1.5 million) and are still climbing, making it the highest-grossing PRC film in China so far this year. Warner China partnered on the film with Focus Films, a production company formed by Hong Kong actor Andy Lau to promote fresh talent from across Asia. Shot on location in Chongqing, Southwest China, the film is in Chongqing dialect, and has a distinct “local” (Sichuanese) flavor. In the wake of Crazy Stone’s successful release, Warner China Film HG Corporation has announced its slate for the balance of 2006: “Phone Number 601” -- a contemporary Chinese-language drama co-produced by the company with the Shanghai Film Group and executive-produced by leading director Feng Xiaogang (“Cell Phone," “World Without Thieves” and the upcoming “Banquet”). Filmed entirely in Shanghai, the film features a very appealing cast which includes Zhou Bichang, runner-up in last year’s “Supergirls” talent contest; Hong Kong singing and film star Cecilia Cheung; Hu Ge, an up-and-coming Mainland music talent; and Zhang Guoli, a well-known PRC film and television star who both directs and acts in this project. The release is set for August 18, and will be co-distributed by the Company and Shanghai Film Group. “Jade Warrior” -- a Finnish-Sino co-production - the first of its kind -- is a romantic fantasy that crosses cultures and millennia. Film combines Finnish and Chinese mythologies and iconic images to create a unique visual and storytelling style. Dialogue is in Mandarin and Finnish. Directed by Antti-Jussi Annila and co-produced with partners including Blind Spot Pictures and Ming Productions, the film features Tommi Eronen and Markku Peltola from Finland, and the up-and-coming PRC actress Zhang Jingchu (“Peacock,” “Seven Swords”). “Jade Warrior” will be released simultaneously in Europe and China in October 2006. “The Painted Veil” -- a gripping romantic drama based on the Somerset Maugham novel of the same name. Directed by John Curran (“Praise,” “We Don’t Live Here Anymore”), the film boasts a star-studded cast including Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Toby Jones, Anthony Wong and Xia Yu. Currently in post-production, the film was shot entirely in China during the August–November 2005 period. Warner China is co-producing the picture with Stratus Film Co. and Warner Independent Pictures, and will be its exclusive distributor in China. The China release is planned for late November. “We are absolutely thrilled with the success of ‘Crazy Stone,’ and are very confident in our entire slate,” said Han Sanping, President of Warner China Film HG Corporation. “We’ve worked very hard at developing the company’s staff and capabilities, cultivating talent and picking the right projects. Our films each have a good story, a unique, fresh style, and a high entertainment quotient. We trust that the audience will agree with our choices and enthusiastically embrace them.” Warner China Film HG Corporation is a joint venture among the China Film Group Corporation, China’s leading state-owned filmed entertainment conglomerate, Warner Bros. International Pictures, and the Hengdian Group, one of the largest private sector players in China’s film and television industries. The company develops, invests in, produces, markets and distributes Chinese-language and Sino-foreign co-produced feature films, made-for-TV movies, and animation properties.
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