Ovidio G. Assonitis
Ovidio Gabriel Assonitis
January 18, 1943
|Occupation||Film director, film producer, film editor, screenwriter, inventor|
Ovidio Gabriel Assonitis (born January 18, 1943) is an Egyptian-born Greco-Italianentertainment executive, film producer, screenwriter, and director best known for his numerous B-horror films including Beyond the Door, Tentacles, The Visitor, and Piranha II: The Spawning.
Catering to the South East Asia market, Assonitis began an extensive distribution network company in the mid-1960s and in the 10-year period distributed more than 900 films from offices in Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, and Indonesia. His former partners and associates include HRH Prince Anusom Yukol (brother of the King of Thailand), John Litton (President of Mever Films, theater owner and former President of the Philippines Film Festival), the Shaw Brothers, Alexander Tedja, and Kong Cho Yee (of Edko Films).
From the 1970s to 2000s Assonitis has financed and produced some 53 films. Many of these were joint ventures with American International Pictures (USA), Kadokawa Pictures and Toho Co., Ltd. (Japan), with worldwide releases through Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. and United Artists. The 1974 horror film Beyond the Door, produced as a cash-in on the success of "Satanic panic" films like Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist, distributed by Film Ventures International grossed worldwide in excess of USD $40 million.
In 1980, Assonitis produced and co-directed Piranha II: The Spawning, which was released through Warner Bros. and Columbia Pictures. This was the movie that launched the career of director James Cameron, who went on to direct the blockbuster hit Titanic. In 1989, he became the second major stockholder chairman and CEO of Cannon Pictures Inc. (USA).
In 1990 Assonitis assigned to Universal Pictures the remake of the European classic Scent of a Woman, which was released worldwide in 1993, starring Al Pacino and directed by Martin Brest. Since his resignation as CEO of Cannon Inc., Assonitis has produced six films, become President of Titan Inc (USA), Titan Serendib Inc (Malaysia and Sri Lanka), Ka Film Investment (KFI) (Rome) and stockholder of Buskin film (Rome). Aside from the Entertainment Industry, Assonitis has commercial projects in South East Asia, including Malaysia.