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Aug 23, 2018

Cinedigm partners with Mark Yellen Productions and Rosenbloom Entertainment to produce a multi-season series about literary adventurer Emily “Mickey” Hahn

The multi-season series chronicles the life and love affairs of the beautiful and fiercely independent American woman who introduced exotic Shanghai and greater China to U.S. readers before WWII and is based on extensive exclusive material including two autobiographies, one biography, and the vast archives of the Hahn and Boxer estates

Emily Hahn
Emily Hahn


“I have deliberately chosen the uncertain path whenever I had the chance.” – Emily Hahn

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 23, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cinedigm Corp. (NASDAQ: CIDM) announced today that it has partnered with Mark Yellen Productions and Rosenbloom Entertainment to produce a multi-season, programmatic series about renowned feminist and adventurer Emily Hahn, the prolific literary author who introduced exotic Shanghai and greater China to US audiences through her articles published in The New Yorker in the 1930s.

The production will be available to US, International and China outlets and reinforces Cinedigm’s deep relationships in China.  Currently, the group is bringing the series to showrunners, writers, and directors and expects to be in production in 2019.  With plans to shoot on location in Shanghai and Hong Kong, the producers will take full advantage of Shanghai’s iconic Bund waterfront, which has one the richest collections of Art Deco architecture in the world.

“Emily Hahn was a charismatic, unconventional free spirit who wrote about her experiences with courage and compassion.  We’re honored to bring Emily’s incredible story of love and adventure, discovery and intrigue to audiences worldwide,” said Chris McGurk, Chairman and CEO, Cinedigm. “Now is the perfect time to re-introduce audiences to the vibrant, complex, and intriguing world of 1930s Shanghai from a uniquely female perspective.”

Rosenbloom and Yellen acquired exclusive life story rights to Hahn’s remarkable and largely unknown life, and then partnered with Cinedigm for production and distribution.  The rights include Hahn autobiographies CHINA TO ME and NO HURRY TO GET HOME, and Ken Cuthbertson’s biography NOBODY SAID NOT TO GO: THE LIFE, LOVE AND ADVENTURES OF EMILY HAHN, as well as extensive exclusive archival materials from the estates of Emily Hahn and her husband Charles Boxer. The deal was made with the Hahn estate’s literary agents Richard Curtis Associates.  Many of Hahn’s books have been reissued by Open Road Media.

“We’re passionate about bringing this unique and exciting story to worldwide audiences,” said Chip Rosenbloom, President of Rosenbloom Entertainment.  “This will be an epic series about a courageous and compassionate woman, with a vibrant ensemble of diverse characters, set amidst the cinematically rich visual landscape of 1930s Shanghai, pre-war turmoil in China, and the sunset of the British Empire in Asia.  Emily was able to champion female empowerment and embrace cultural diversity at a time when those concepts were completely alien to most, making it very relevant in today’s climate of change.” 

A feminist trailblazer before the word existed, Emily Hahn wrote hundreds of articles and short stories for The New Yorker from 1925 to 1995, as well as fifty-two books in many genres, most notably CHINA TO ME and THE SOONG SISTERS.

“Emily Hahn’s story is an adventure of discovery, intrigue, and courage; where the avant-garde collides with ancient cultural traditions in a thriving and eclectic city on the cusp of dramatic social and political change,” said Mark Yellen, President of Mark Yellen Productions.  “Just as Emily introduced her readers to new cultures, characters, and a worldview many had not been exposed to before, we hope to (re)introduce Emily and her work to contemporary audiences who we feel will fall in love with her as we have.”

About Emily “Mickey” Hahn

Known as “Mickey” to her friends, Emily Hahn traveled across the country in the 1920s dressed as a boy; worked as a Harvey Girl in Taos, New Mexico; ran away to the Belgian Congo as a Red Cross worker during the Great Depression; was the concubine of a Chinese poet in Shanghai in the 1930s; had an affair and an illegitimate child with Charles Boxer, the head of the British Secret Service in Hong Kong just before the outbreak of World War II; and, was involved in underground relief work in occupied Hong Kong. In Shanghai, she counted amongst her friends and associates Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, Dorothy Parker, James Thurber, Noel Coward, Sir Victor Sassoon, Morris “Two-Gun” Cohen, Chiang Kai-shek, and the Soong Sisters.  Repatriated as part of a prisoner exchange in 1943, Mickey fled back to the United States, expanding her prolific writing career and becoming a pioneer in the fields of wildlife preservation and environmentalism before her death in 1977 at the age of ninety-two. 

Roger Angell wrote in her obituary in The New Yorker: “She was, in truth, something rare: a woman deeply, almost domestically, at home in the world.  Driven by curiosity and energy, she went there and did that, and then wrote about it without fuss.”  

Mickey was the first woman to graduate from the University of Wisconsin in mining engineering.  She worked shortly in the field, dressed as a man, but grew bored.  She then began a career with the New Yorker Magazine, when her brother-in-law submitted her letters from travels across America for publication. 

In 1935, Mickey traveled to Shanghai seeking adventure after a failed love affair and was seduced by the “Paris of the East.”  One of the largest cities and ports in the world, Shanghai attracted foreign business people, artists, celebrities, refugees, and migrants, and was the epicenter of art, business, and architecture in Asia.

There she met real estate tycoon Sir Victor Sassoon.  From center stage of his luxurious Cathay hotel, the eccentric and powerful Sassoon introduced her to the fashionable nightspots and privileged expatriates of the multi-cultural city.  Counting amongst her friends Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, Dorothy Parker, James Thurber, Noel Coward, Morris “Two-Gun” Cohen, Chiang Kai-shek, and the Soong Sisters, Mickey began writing of her experiences and perspective introducing American readers to China through her lively and entertaining articles in the New Yorker.  Learning to speak Shanghainese and eventually to read and write Mandarin, Mickey embedded herself into the “old Chinese walled city” and turned her apartment into a salon for writers and artists, where she met Shou Xunmei (Zau Sinmay), Chinese writer and poet, and a central figure in the Shanghai literary set.

Mickey supported herself with her writing and began an affair with the writer/poet, becoming his mistress, and later his second wife under Chinese law.  Together they founded the Chinese and English language magazine Candid Comment, “devoted to bringing about more mutual understanding between East and West by means of literature.”

Her affair and lifestyle with Xunmei led to an opium addiction on which she commented: “Though I had always wanted to be an opium addict, I can't claim that as the reason I went to China."

Leaving her addiction behind and ending her relationship with Xunmei two years later, Mickey began an infamous affair with Charles R. Boxer, the Chief British Intelligence Officer in Hong Kong, leading to the birth of their daughter. 

When the Japanese occupied Hong Kong, Boxer was captured and imprisoned, but Mickey avoided internment and was able to stay in Hong Kong and bring food when visiting Boxer in prison under the guise of being Eurasian and the protection of her citizenship under her marriage to Xunmei.  After two years of precarious survival in the occupied city, Mickey was repatriated as part of a prisoner exchange in 1943.  In a much-publicized event, Boxer and Hahn were reunited and then married in 1945.  Life magazine described the Hahn-Boxer relationship as one of the great love stories of WWII.

About Cinedigm                                                        

Cinedigm powers custom content solutions to the world’s largest retail, media and technology companies. We provide premium feature films and series to digital platforms including iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon; cable and satellite providers including Comcast, Dish Network and DirecTV, and major retailers including Walmart and Target. Leveraging Cinedigm’s unique capabilities, content and technology, the Company has emerged as a leader in the fast-growing over-the-top (OTT) channel business, with nine channels under management that reach hundreds of millions of devices while also providing premium content and service expertise to the entire OTT ecosystem. Learn more about Cinedigm at www.cinedigm.com.

In November 2017, Bison Capital became the beneficial owner of the majority of Cinedigm’s outstanding Class A Common Stock. Bison Capital is a Hong Kong-based investment company with a focus on the media and entertainment, healthcare and financial service industries. Founded by Mr. Peixin Xu in 2014, Bison Capital has made multiple investments in film and TV production, film distribution and entertainment-related mobile Internet services.

Cinedigm is now working closely with Bison to develop plans and forge partnerships to release entertainment content and develop OTT channels in China while, reciprocally, releasing Chinese content and new OTT channels in North America.

Cinedigm™ and Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp™ are trademarks of Cinedigm Corp.www.cinedigm.com. [CIDM-G]

For more information:

Jill Newhouse Calcaterra
Cinedigm
jcalcaterra@cinedigm.com
310-466-5135

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/0d795da6-0f12-4842-8526-8c378d422827

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Source: Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp.