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Regional blockbusters for the festive season
CLOVER Films will celebrate its seventh anniversary this month by releasing seven Asian blockbusters from now until Chinese New Year 2017.
Led by managing director Lim Teck and headquartered in Singapore, the homegrown company has distributed more than 200 movies and produced over 20 films since being established in December 2009.
It scored a bumper hit this year with zombie flick Train to Busan, which is the highest-grossing Korean film in Singapore, and which will be remade in America by French studio Gaumont.
On the home front, Clover was also behind the distribution of Boo Junfeng's critically acclaimed prison drama Apprentice.
The upcoming slate of seven films kicks off with wuxia drama Sword Master which opened this week. Directed by Derek Yee (The Shinjuku Incident, 2009) and produced by the master of the genre himself, Tsui Hark (The Taking of Tiger Mountain, 2014), the old school martial arts historical epic made its premiere at the Rome International Film Festival and would delight fans of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000).
Also in cinemas now is 10,000 Miles, a sleek Taiwanese coming-of-age sports flick produced by King of Mandopop Jay Chou and starring heart-throb Darren Wang. The former even makes a cameo, playing an aspiring singer in this Rocky-on-the-running-tracks melodrama.
Fans of Jackie Chan will also be pleased to know there are not one, but two, blockbusters with the veteran international action star lined up.
Railroad Tigers, opening on Dec 29, is an action-comedy set during pre-World War II China where Chan leads a motley group of freedom fighters against the Japanese army.
Meanwhile, Kung Fu Yoga, which is slated for Chinese New Year, reunites Chan with long-time collaborator director Stanley Tong (Police Story 2, 1993) and an ensemble cast of Bollywood stars including Sonu Sood, Disha Patani and Amyra Dastur, as well as Chinese heart-throbs Aarif Lee and Lay (Zhang Yixiang).
Opening on Jan 12 are Master, a Korean crime thriller starring Kim Woo-bin and Lee Byung-hun, and Thai horror School Tales.
Also for release during Chinese New Year is foodie comedy Cook Up a Storm, directed by veteran Hong Kong filmmaker Raymond Yip and starring actor Nicholas Xie, who is known for his off-screen culinary skills.
"The past year was a great one (so) entering our eighth year, we want to bring more top-notch Asian films to Singapore," says Clover Films' Mr Lim about the line-up. "We are confident that we will have many winners among the seven titles this festive period."
Not only that, the homegrown scene can look forward to a boost as well, as he adds: "To affirm our support for the Singapore film industry, we plan to be involved in more good-quality local movies."