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Fortissimo Set To Hypnotise The Worldwide Marketplace

The Great Hypnotist Karen Mok and Xu Zheng
Since its inception, Fortissimo Films has been at the vanguard of distributing films with an edge from filmmakers worldwide, and particularly from the Pacific Region. Prior to Cannes, the company entered into an agreement with Chinese media conglomerate Wanda Media to co-handle the worldwide representation of The Great Hypnotist, currently in release in China, where it topped the local markets with a first week box-office approaching US$25 million. The deal excludes Hong Kong, Taiwan/Southeast Asia.

Fortissimo's Chairman, Michael J. Werner, said: "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 breakthrough 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 Media's Vice-President and Head of Distribution James Li added: "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." The Great Hypnotist represents a game-changer and new direction in genre films for China and marks the second commercial success there for its Taiwan-born Director Leste Chen who previously scored with his 2013 rom-com Say Yes. The film is a mystery thriller and stars Chinese Superstar Xu Zheng (Lost in Thailand) and Hong Kong singer/actor phenom Karen Mok (Around the World in 80 Days, Shaolin Soccer).

The story revolves around S: Xu Ruining (Xu Zheng) 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 through with her to discover what is at 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 its 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.

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 filmmakers from all over the world.

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