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Salon's pan-Asia alliance sets three new films led by Eat, Drink 2

Companies under Hong Kong’s Salon Films’ pan-Asia alliance have announced new production projects including three projects from Taipei-based Zoom Hunt International.

Producer Hsu Li-kong and his Zoom Hunt International is preparing the sequel to Ang Lee’s 1994 classic Eat Drink Man Woman, tentatively titled Eat Drink Man Woman II, a project to be co-produced with Singapore’s MediaCorp Raintree Pictures, Salon Films and China’s Zhejiang Hengdian Film Production.

Shooting will start in August in Shanghai. Taipei-based director Tsao Rui-yuan who has directed popular TV series Crystal Boys will direct the $1.46m film and Singapore heartthrob Qi Yuwu is likely to act in the film. Also in talks to star are Chinese actors Zhou Xun, Zhang Fengyi (Red Cliff) and Gua Ah-lei (Eat Drink Man Woman). The story of the film evolves a vegetarian chef’s romance with his beloved spanning 30 years and two devastating earthquakes in China.

Zoom Hunt is also preparing a fantasy film tentatively titled Mermaid and an untitled poetic martial arts drama. Li Shaohong (The Door, Baober In Love) will direct Mermaid. Shooting is likely to take place in Shangri-la of China’s Yunnan province. Hsu told Screen International that the two projects will also be co-productions between partners of Salon’s pan-Asia alliance.

Established last year during Filmart, Salon’s pan-Asia alliance now has five new members - they are Media Development Authority Singapore, China’s Enlight Pictures, National Arts Entertainment, Pearl River Film, as well as Zoo Hunt International.

Salon Films has committed to establish an $80m Integrated Media Fund (IMF) in Singapore. The IMF will be used to produce a slate of feature films, TV series and animation in the next five years.

Meanwhile, The Last Dragon, a China-Australia co-production with Salon, Zhejiang Hengdian Film Production and Australian AMPCO, will start shooting in Hengdian in June, according to head of Hengdian Liu Zhijiang. The film was announced last Oct and was originally scheduled to start shooting last November.

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