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The Weinstein Co. Bullish on Indigenous Films

19 Oct, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Harvey Weinstein, co-founder of The Weinstein Co., last week said investors of movies filmed in the Far East and Middle East must be cognizant of local culture and customs during productions.

As keynote speaker of the inaugural Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, he reportedly warned against “westernizing” productions for the sake of English-speaking audiences.

“If it's great, it travels,” Weinstein said. “[But] the subject matter has to remain compelling on a local level.”

In August, The Weinstein Co. initiated a $285 million fund for the development, acquisition and distribution of 11 theatrical and 10 direct-to-video Asian-themed films.

Separately, Genius Products Oct. 30 will release the Vietnamese-American saga Journey From the Fall on DVD at $24.99. The film, which was an official selection of both the Sundance and Pusan Film festivals, centers on Vietnamese who fled the country after the fall of Saigon to the communists in the early 1970s.

Weinstein is majority owner of DVD distributor Genius Products.

Last year, Weinstein launched Dragon Dynasty, a label the New York-based company hoped would become the largest holder and distributor of Asian DVDs in North America.

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