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by Brian Brooks
September 7, 2011 2:36 AM
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Johnnie To's "Life" Picked Up in Venice

Johnnie To's "Life Without Principle."

North American rights to thriller, "Life Without Principle" by Hong Kong director/producer Johnnie To have been acquired by The Indomina Group, the company's vice chairman and CEO Jasbinder Singh Mann said Wednesday, coinciding with its world premiere in Venice. The film will have its North American debut in the Special Presentations section at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival.

Indomina’s Vice President of Acquisitions, Rob Williams, brokered the deal with Media Asia’s Fred Tsui and the company is planning a release in 2012.

Full acquisition release follows:

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.

The Indomina Group has had an active summer, having recently acquired North American distribution rights (as well as financing and selling) the comedy “A Fantastic Fear of Everything” starring Simon Pegg (“Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz”).

In July, Indomina announced a partnership with Samuel L. Jackson to produce a new live action “Afro Samurai” film based on the popular animated series that has spawned an impressive franchise and a global following. This highly anticipated film project is expected to come off the ground in 2012.

Indomina's critically-acclaimed epic adventure “Detective Dee and The Mystery of the Phantom Flame” directed by Tsui Hark is currently in theaters, with the highest per-screen box office average of the Labor Day holiday weekend in North America. Other recent releases include the romantic comedy “Griff the Invisible,” starring Ryan Kwanten (“True Blood”), Yuen Woo Ping’s martial arts feature "True Legend," starring Vincent Zhao, Zhou Xun, Michelle Yeoh and the late David Carradine, and Teddy Chan’s award-wining “Bodyguards & Assassins.”

About Johnnie To:

Highly respected and one of the most prolific directors and producers in Hong Kong, Johnnie To has won international acclaim for films such as “Running Out of Time,” “The Mission,” “Fulltime Killer” and “PTU.”

In addition to winning the Best Director nod at the 23rd Hong Kong Film Awards for “PTU,” his 2004 action thriller “Breaking News” (Official Selections at the 57th Cannes Film Festival) also won him the Best Director award at the 7th Changchun Film Festival, the 37th Sitges International Film Festival of Catalonia and the 41st Golden Horse Awards. In 2005, “The Election” was in competition at the 58th Cannes Film Festival and won him another Best Director award at the 38th Sitges International Film Festival in two consecutive years. In 2006, Exiled competed at the 63rd Venice Film Festival and picked up the Audience Choice Award at the 43rd Golden Horse Awards. In 2008, “Sparrow” competed at the Berlin International Film Festival and in 2009, “Vengeance” competed at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival.

Johnnie To was on the official competition jury at the 65th Venice Film Festival in 2008 and at the 64th Cannes Film Festival in 2011.

About Indomina:

The Indomina Group is a vertically integrated independent studio launched in 2008 by Vice Chairman and CEO Jasbinder Singh Mann.

Operating in Los Angeles and the Dominican Republic, Indomina takes a transmedia approach to collaborating with content creators around the world to bring innovative entertainment properties to the market.

The global operations of Indomina include the production and distribution of motion pictures, television, music, interactive games, and the ownership of world-class studio facilities and production services.

Earlier this year the company inked an exclusive multi-year distribution deal with Vivendi Entertainment that spans home video, digital, internet, television, VOD and mobile platforms and reinforces Indomina’s strategy to establish a leadership position in the independent film market, focusing on genre based content and creating a destination for young, dedicated consumers of the fanboy culture.

The Indomina Group has also partnered with world-renowned Pinewood Studios Group, to build, operate, manage and market a new state-of-the-art film and television studio facility in the Dominican Republic. “Pinewood Indomina Studios” will be a full-service, world-class production facility for film, TV, and other related media content.

For more information please visit www.indomina.com

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