Indomina acquires Johnnie To's LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE
It is an interesting yet welcome purchase for Indomina as this type of film rarely gets much commercial attention outside of Asia, due to its lack of martial arts and heroic gunplay, yet often turns out to be the better film. Johnnie To is the big selling point here, as the film's stars - Lau Ching Wan, Richie Ren and Denise Ho - aren't exactly tentpole draws in the US, talented though they most certainly are. If LWP turns out to be a good film and Indomina markets it the right way - that is to say, not the way intelligent Hong Kong thrillers like INFERNAL AFFAIRS are repeatedly misrepresented - then this could prove to be a key release in raising awareness about the diversity of product that is out there.
Indomina looks to be getting its act together recently, enjoying the highest per-screen box office performance over the Labor Day weekend with the excellent DETECTIVE DEE AND THE MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM FLAME and has put together an attractive DVD/BD release of Yuen Woo Ping's TRUE LEGEND, which hits shelves next week. Here's hoping this run of form continues with LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE.
Here's the press release:
INDOMINA OPTS FOR "LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE"
The Indomina Group Acquires North American Distribution Rights to Johnnie To's "Life Without Principle"
Film Set for Premieres at Venice and Toronto Film Festivals
Los Angeles / Toronto / Venice - September 7, 2011 - Continuing to add firepower to its burgeoning theatrical release slate, it was announced today that The Indomina Group, the fast-growing producer and distributor of film, TV and transmedia content and leading proponent of 'fanboy' cinema, has acquired North American distribution rights to the thriller "Life Without Principle" - the newest film from internationally acclaimed director/producer and contemporary maestro of Hong Kongese action cinema Johnnie To ("Vengeance," "Election," "The Mad Detective," "PTU," "Exiled").
The announcement was made by Indomina Group Vice Chairman and CEO Jasbinder Singh Mann on the day of the film's highly anticipated world premiere at the 68th Venice International Film Festival. Shortly thereafter the film will have its North American premiere when it screens as a special presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Directed and produced by the legendary Johnnie To, "Life Without Principle" tells the story of three characters: an ordinary bank teller turned financial analyst is forced to sell high risk securities to her customers in order to meet her sales target; a small-time thug delves into the futures index hoping to earn easy money to post bail for a buddy in trouble with the law; a straight-arrow police inspector, who has always enjoyed his middle income lifestyle, is suddenly desperate for money when his wife puts a down payment on a luxury flat she can't afford and his dying father wants him to look after a young half-sister he never knew he had.
Three people who are in dire need of money for the predicaments in their respective lives have nothing in common until a bag of stolen money worth $5 million pops up and lands them in an intricate situation that forces them into making soul searching decisions about right and wrong and everything in between on the morality scale.
The film reunites Johnnie To with prior collaborators Lau Ching Wan ("Running Out of Time 1 and 2" and "Mad Detective"), and Richie Jen ("Exiled") who star in the film with Denise Ho ("Merry-Go-Round") and guest star Terence Yin. The screenplay was written by Au Kin Yee, Wong King Fai, and Milkyway Creative Team.
Indomina's Vice President of Acquisitions, Rob Williams, brokered the deal with Media Asia's Fred Tsui.
Commenting on the acquisition, Indomina Group Vice Chairman and CEO Jasbinder Singh Mann said, "Johnnie To is an iconic filmmaker with a massive fan following that mirrors Indomina's target audience. This is a natural fit for us. 'Life Without Principle' is another masterpiece that delivers on all levels and stands out as a true original with the intensity and emotion true to a Johnnie To film. We are excited to bring this film to audiences in the U.S."
"Life Without Principle" is presented by Media Asia Films, produced by Milkyway Image and distributed by Media Asia Distribution.