Leading Hong Kong Producer Makes History by Releasing First Hong Kong Blockbuster in Digital Cinema Format.

HONG KONG, 8 December 2003 Media Asia, the producer of Infernal Affairs – a multiple record-holder in the Hong Kong film history — makes another historical move to release Infernal Affairs III in digital format — a move that will bring digital cinema into the mainstream, making it an everyday reality for the Asian public. H2H Digital, a pioneer in the Asian digital cinema industry, coordinated an industry-wide effort, supported by Media Asia, GDC Technology, Barco and Singapore Telecom that aims to pave the way for other producers to introduce digital cinema film distribution to the viewing public. 

“Digital delivery is a breakthrough in the way we can distribute our films,” says Jeffrey Chan, Head of Distribution for Media Asia. “For the release of Infernal Affairs III, the digital copy will be delivered to our distributor via international fibre optic networks from Hong Kong to Singapore. This technology opens up exciting new opportunities for delivering our Hong Kong and Chinese films throughout Asia.”

The film will be transferred and encoded to digital format by GDC Technology and released throughout Asia on 12 December 2003 to 34 cinemas throughout China, and in January 2004 to cinemas in Bangkok, Thailand and in the Philippines. The digitized film will be stored and played from GDC Playback Server, then projected onto the screen using digital cinema projectors. Over in Singapore, the film will be distributed to Shaw and Eng Wah theatres direct from Hong Kong via SingTel’s international ATM network.

“This release marks a milestone in Asian cinema industry as this is the first time a Hong Kong movie producer distributes a Hong Kong movie to almost all the digital cinemas in Asia” said Dr. Man Nang CHONG, Managing Director of GDC Technology. “Given a choice between watching a 35-millimeter print or a digital print, the movie-goers generally preferred the pristine quality of digital theatrical exhibition. The digital grosses are generally significantly higher than that of traditional cinemas due to the perfect playback of picture quality with no deterioration of quality over time.’ 

The movie, to be released on 12 December 2003, is MPEG2 4:2:2 encoded using GDC’s Digital Film Agile Encoder and the first digital movie shown digitally throughout Asia on DSR™ Digital Film Servers. “By teaming up with H2H, the leading digital cinema integrator in Asia, we are pleased to be part of Media Asia’s launch into the digital cinema by using the latest technology in digital cinema platforms. Asian movie-goers will now be able to experience first hand an enhanced cinematic experience with high quality digitally perfect images that are naturally film-like and consistently bright.” GDC Technology has been entrusted before with the encoding and exhibition of the blockbusters such as “Finding Nemo” and “Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets” as well as the recent release of “Brother Bear”. GDC Technology promises to bring digital entertainment to Asian producers in its best form with its pioneering efforts in
digital cinema industry.

Said Thomas Yeo, SingTel’s Vice President of Corporate Business Marketing: “This is the first time in the movie history of Asia that a film is distributed digitally over a telecom carrier’s international fibre optic network. As Asia’s leading communications company, SingTel is pleased to help make digital distribution of movies possible and efficiently with its extensive infrastructure. We look forward to providing more cutting-edge and innovative solutions to our customers in the media industry.”

“We are pleased to work with Media Asia to make their foray into digital cinema a lasting success,” says Renaud Palliere, President & CEO of H2H Group, “Asia is quickly taking the lead in the number of commercial digital cinema installations. Says Paula Brillson, Executive Vice President of Content Strategy and Business Development, “the Infernal Affairs III release underscores the fact that Asian producers are responding positively to the benefits offered by digital cinema. H2H looks forward to reinforcing this trend by introducing new content to theatres that include music and sporting events, Broadway shows and digital advertising, which will help theatres increase their revenue streams and will offer an expanded entertainment experience to their audiences.” Following the commercial release of Infernal Affairs III on 12 December 2003, Magic Kitchen and Silver Hawk is also expected to be available through Media Asia and its Asian distributors.

Media Contact: Carmen Choi

SOURCE: GDC Technology 

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