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20th Century Fox opens Asian studio

The joint venture with STAR will specialize in local productions.

September 11, 2008|From the Associated Press

HONG KONG — 20th Century Fox said Wednesday that it had established an Asian unit specializing in local productions, starting with India, becoming the latest Hollywood studio to venture into the region.

The new studio will be a joint venture with the Asian satellite broadcaster STAR, called Fox STAR Studios, the two companies said.

Both companies are units of media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Fox STAR Studios will start out making Bollywood films in Hindi as well as other regional Indian dialects.

Vijay Singh, STAR India's president for strategy and corporate development, will lead the Indian operation.

"We are in discussion for producing not only traditional Bollywood films but also innovating and targeting emerging genres," Singh said.

Fox STAR Studios will also branch into the Chinese-language and southeast Asian markets soon, the companies said.

STAR spokeswoman Jannie Poon said Fox STAR Studios would operate from several locations, with its first unit based in Mumbai, India, home of the Bollywood industry.

Other major Hollywood studios producing Asian movies include Sony Pictures Entertainment with its Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia, which invested in Ang Lee's Oscar-winning kung fu hit, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

Warner Bros. Pictures set up a joint venture with China's state-run China Film Group and Hengdian Group in 2004 and has invested in Hindi films.

Walt Disney Co. last year released a Chinese-language children's movie that mixed live action and computer animation. It has also teamed with Indian studio Yash Raj Films to make computer-animated movies.

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