Hong Kong productionoutfit Applause Pictures has teamed up with the Ruddy Morgan Organization tocreate an international sales company, ARM Distribution, which is making itsdebut at the AFM.

The new outfit is beingassisted by Robbie and Ellen Little's The Little Film Company.

Two of the company'sexecutives, Robbie Little and Clay Epstein, will work alongside ARM'spresident, Patricia Cheng, to handle worldwide sales of the company's slate.

ARM will handle filmsjointly produced by Chan and RMO's Andre Morgan, starting with crime thriller Protege, directed by Derek Yee and starring Daniel Wu. Thefilm marks the first co-production between ARM, Beijing Polybona Film Publishing and the China FilmGroup.

"We're very excited to beworking with Andre Morgan and Peter Chan on these films," said Little. "Thethemes and story behind Protege;are universal and transcend cultural boundaries. Asian cinema continues to be on the cutting edge and is onlygetting better with the amazing talent pool of filmmakers and actors."

Wu plays a special agentworking deep undercover in Asian crime organisations in the film, which marksthe first time a China co-production has openly tackled subjects such as theAsian drugs trade. Andy Lau, Louis Koo and Zhang Jingchu (Seven Swords) also star.

The filmmakers behind Protege; describe it as following in the tradition of films such as Traffic, due to its exploration of the complex relationshipswithin multilayered crime syndicates.

Applause and Ruddy Morganpreviously collaborated on Chinese-language musical Perhaps Love, directed by Chan and starring Takeshi Kaneshiro,Jacky Cheung and Zhou Xun, which was submitted as Hong Kong's foreign-languageOscar entry last year.