The new company will specialize in handling rights in China and other markets in Asia.
China movie distributor and aggregator Red Apollo has locked in its first international partnership by launching an independent sales, distribution and acquisition agent for the China and Pan-Asia markets, the Los Angeles-based company says in a statement on Thursday.
The new operation Saga Films is founded by Red Apollo CEO Rick Zhang Yifeng. The company will be spearheaded by distribution executive Brett Lauter with financial backing from Lens Media and a deal with ZDF Enterprises, the commercial arm of German Pubcaster ZDF (‘A Grand Farewell’, 2015).
In announcing the launch, Lauter says Saga Films has a ‘China expertise’ that will enable it to maximize rights holders’ revenues. “In contrast to U.S. based distributors who try to cover the whole world, we are a China based distributor with an office in the U.S,” he said.
Saga Films will work alongside its sister company Red Apollo in acquiring and releasing commercially successful films in the region as well as distributing globally. Key genres it aims to cover include action, thriller, adventure, sci-fi, war and crime thriller.
Red Apollo was previously involved in the China distribution of movies such as ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’, starring Jessica Chastain, ‘The Infiltrator’, starring Bryan Cranston, and ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’, starring Meryl Streep.
Most films by Saga will not get a theatrical release in China, according to Variety. “That’s not a problem as we have excellent connections with the VoD and digital channels,” said Lauter, a sales agent for media properties with experience spanning three decades.
Additional reporting Amber Ziye Wang