Phoenix Waters Ties Knot With Agog Films to Expand Asia Film Financing, ‘Chungking Mansions’ to Resume Shooting


U.K.- and Hong Kong-based company Phoenix Waters Prods. has formally partnered with Hong Kong’s Agog Films to create Phoenix Waters Asia, a new venture aimed at increasing content production in Asia.

The venture was announced on the sidelines of a film investment conference held Tuesday in Hong Kong at the FilMart rights market, where Phoenix Waters Prods. CEO Bizhan Tong was a speaker.

The two companies previously collaborated on “Chungking Mansions,” an ambitious pan-Asian action film on which Tong is director, and where production was previously scheduled for last year. Tong told Variety that lensing will start later this year, “after address any issues that could hinder filming in Hong Kong.”

Phoenix Waters Asia expects to develop and produce a full slate of new projects starting this summer. It will expand from its current focus in Hong Kong to incorporate additional Asia territories, beginning with Japan and Korea.

Action thriller “Hostage Crisis” is expected to be part of the new slate. It will feature Hong Kong actors along with an ensemble of U.S. and U.K. thespians.

Phoenix Waters’ Tong and Agog Films CEO Guy Orlebar will jointly run Phoenix Waters Asia as co-CEOs, with Tong also operating as chief content officer and Orlebar as chief investment officer.

Tong will also join Orlebar to co-manage the three media funds through an asset management company in Hong Kong, strengthening the funds’ ability to source highly diversified slates of media projects from across the region.

The funds — New Asia Ferrell Discretionary Media Project Fund, New Asia Ferrell Non-Discretionary Media Project Fund and New Asia Ferrell Media Infrastructure PE Fund — were first unveiled last year. The first two funds invest in actual movie and TV projects. The third fund invests into companies directly, rather than projects. (Additionally, the discretionary fund is formed from combining the action, sci-fi and IP funds that was announced one year earlier.)

Tong, a former banker turned filmmaker, is currently in post-production on both his official Asian remake of Richard Linklater’s “Tape” and Mitchell Tolliday’s upcoming horror comedy “Murder Ballads.” His new crime series “Forensic Psychologist” is currently being promoted at FilMart and is to be released later this year.

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