FILM company Golden Harvest has announced a joint venture with Korea's Cheil Group, which involves building 40 screens in South Korea. The theatre screens will start coming on line by the end of next year and will be the country's first-ever multiplexes. Golden Harvest chairman Raymond Chow said the company, in a web of joint-venture deals, would have 260 screens in operation throughout Asia by the end of 1996, excluding the six locations in Korea, compared to 120 now. Golden Harvest, with its Australian partner Village Roadshow, is forming Cheil Golden Village in South Korea to build and operate the new multiplexes. Golden Village already has cinemas in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. The partnership with Cheil, a US$2 billion company run by Jay and Miky Lee, has been formed primarily to distribute the movies and multimedia products of Hollywood's new studio, DreamWorks SKG, in all Asian countries outside Japan, for the next 10 years. But Mr Chow said the company had an 'aggressive and wide-ranging' agenda, which involved building multiplexes (with Village Roadshow), theme parks and other related activities, including the distribution of movies from sources other than DreamWorks. In a three-day visit to Seoul, two of DreamWorks three co-founders Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, confirmed their partnership with Cheil, which has committed $300 million to the new studio in staggered payments over the next five years. Mr Katzenberg said DreamWorks had raised US$900 million in equity from a number of partners, including Cheil, $300 million from the three founding partners, a $1 billion line of credit from Chemical Bank, and $2 billion which 'can be accessed in various pay-television and free-television deals throughout the world.' Chiel's Lee and his sister Miky are members of Korean giant Samsung's founding family, although Cheil now is independently operated. They have taken an 11 per cent stake in the DreamWorks studio, according to reports. Mr Chow said the first DreamWorks picture was due by the end of 1996, with five more in 1997 and annual production rising eventually to 10. The studio's first animated product Prince of Egypt , will be released in November 1998. Mr Katzenberg said the DreamWorks partners viewed seven minutes of footage for it in Los Angeles last week. Golden Harvest already has an exclusive distribution partnership with United International Pictures (UIP), the overseas distribution arm for Universal, Paramount and MGM-UA studios. The distribution rights cover Hong Kong, Vietnam and China. UIP will act as distributors for DreamWorks products in the rest of the world outside Asia and America. Mr Chow gave few details on how the deal with Cheil would affect the company's relationship with UIP. 'As far as that is concerned, in the areas where we handle their products exclusively, like Hong Kong, we will probably not distribute other pictures - but that remains to be worked out,' he said.