AS the handover looms, US entertainment giant Walt Disney is looking to make long-lasting footprints in the territory. In April, Disney Home Video reclaimed its Hong Kong exclusive video distribution rights from local operator International Video (IVL) to do it for themselves. Buena Vista Home Entertainment (BVHE), its video and interactive media distribution arm, set up office in Hong Kong and is looking to expand aggressively in the territory and into China. 'Compared with other parts of the world, Hong Kong is still a relatively immature market,' BVHE Asia-Pacific executive director Martha Van Gelder said. 'Basically, we decided to take the business back directly and restructure it,' Ms Van Gelder said, adding Disney had been happy with what IVL achieved. 'We also wanted to improve trade relations, which is simply to have direct contact with some of our supporters, such as KPS, Park'N Shop, Toys 'R' Us and of course the Disney Store.' She said the company would localise. 'Operations will be handled by local staff, local distributors, local actors . . . with everything based in the territory.' The video Toy Story, scheduled for release on October 15, will mark the start of BVHE's march into the Hong Kong market as a distributor. The computer-generated animated film, with the voices of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, was one of the top 1995 box office hits in cinemas. It should be the first of a long line of new videos to be brought to the Hong Kong market. Disney also would like to broaden its marketing span by coming up with more locally-orientated products, such as Cantonese-dubbed versions of the major animated feature films and direct-to-video releases. It also may get involved in local productions, in Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia, as it has in Japan where it recently agreed to distribute works of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. BVHE is naturally looking towards the mainland market and is hoping it will have a foot in the door within six months.