Principal photography started today in Shanghai on Hong Kong writer-director Aubrey Lam's Anna & Anna, a $2.2m romantic thriller financed by US and Hong Kong-based Ascension Pictures.

The cast is toplined by Hong Kong actress Karena Lam who plays two roles in the film: Anna, a career woman who has recently been posted to China, and the wife of Anna's ex-boyfriend. Their lives become tangled up when they decide to switch identities for a week.

Other cast members include mainland Chinese actor Lu Yi and Taiwanese model-actor Tender.

Ascension Pictures' Tony Teo is executive producing. The company, which has offices in Hong Kong and the US, previously produced The Gene Generation, starring Bai Ling and Faye Dunaway.

Singapore-based PIP Productions is co-producing. The TV production company was founded by veteran TV producer Ng Sian Ngoh and the picture, which will partially be filmed in Singapore, is the company's first feature project.

The music will be composed by well-known Singapore musician-songwriter Dick Lee.

A theatrical release is scheduled for this July. Thomas Leong's Lotus Entertainment is handling international sales.