On the eve of the start of Cannes, Fortissimo Films announced that it has struck a deal with the globally expansive Chinese media conglomerate, Wanda Media to co-handle the worldwide representation (ex-Hong Kong, Taiwan/Southeast Asia) on Wanda's massive commercial hit, The Great Hypnotist. Currently in release in China the film is at the top of the local charts with a first week box-office approaching US $25 million. The studio has released the first two photos from the thriller, which you can see below.
The film, a mystery thriller is a game-changer representing a new direction in genre films for China and marks the 2nd commercial success there for its Taiwan-born Director Leste Chen who previously scored with his 2013 rom-com Say Yes. Starring Chinese Superstar Zheng Xu (Lost in Thailand) and Hong Kong singer/actor phenom Karen Mok (Around the World in 80 Days, Shaolin Soccer), The Great Hypnotist was produced by Tina Shi, and James Li and Executive Produced by Zheng Xu and Gillian Zhao and is Presented by Jerry Ye on behalf of Wanda Media Co. The film premiered as the closing film of last month's Beijing International Film Festival and will be shown next week in the Cannes Market, prior to enjoying further festival exposure.
Xu Ruining (Zheng Xu) is a renowned therapist skilled in hypnotherapy. One day a new patient named Ren Xiaoyan (Karen Mok) is brought to him presenting him with one of the most complex cases he has encountered in his career. In spite of all his skills and experience, he seems unable to break thru with her to discover what is the root of her problems. Despite his patient's wan appearance, whatever he does, she reacts violently, and remains closed off- unreachable by his award winning techniques. Soon he finds himself falling into her trap.
The deal was negotiated by Fortissimo's Chairman, Michael J. Werner and it's Beijing-based Acquisitions and Sales Senior Executive Winnie Lau together with Wanda Media's Vice-President and Head of Distribution James Li, and International Distribution Director Celine Lin, along with Wanda Media's CEO Jerry Yeh and General Manager Gillian Zhao.
On making the announcement, Michael J. Werner had this to say in a statement.
"Wanda Media is one of the World's most exciting and globally focused entertainment companies in the Industry today. The chance to work with Wanda on Leste Chen's, The Great Hypnotist is a fantastic opportunity for Fortissimo to bring another break-thru film from China to the world. This film represents a continuing evolution in the global outlook of Chinese Cinema by combining a commercial genre with a strong budget, great production values, and an engaging and engrossing story packaged together with stunning visuals and artistic highlights which I am sure will be well received by audiences everywhere."
Wanda's James Li echoed those comments with his own statement.
"We believe that The Great Hypnotist has the potential to enjoy success around the globe, and that by working with Fortissimo, we can achieve that goal."
Wanda Media was founded in 2010 and is fully owned and operated by The Wanda Group which was founded in 1988. It is the Film and Television production and distribution side of the Company which amongst other businesses operates the largest cinema chain in China and Asia. With its recent acquisition of America's AMC chain, it became one of the largest exhibitors in the World. For the coming three years, Wanda Media plans to produce eight films annually and distribute an additional nine films per year.
Fortissimo Films is an international film, television and home entertainment sales organization specializing in the production, presentation, promotion and distribution of unique, award winning and innovative feature films from independent film makers from all over the world. For more information, please see FortissimoFilms.com.