John Laing has signed to directThe House Guest, the second film to go into production this year under the Daybreak Pictures production banner, and the second from the New Zealand company to be handled by UK sales outfit 2 Match. The film is being financed by presales, local private investors and funding from the Commercial Bank.

Ian Coughan has written the script, Grant Bradley is producing, and Richard Stewart is the executive producer. This is the same team behind director David Blyth's Exposure, which is currently in post-production and also being handled by 2 Match. Also attached as associate producer is Dale Bradley, co-owner of Daybreak with his brother Grant.

Both these most recent films are thrillers but the Bradleys' principal interest is to establish Daybreak as a strong brand of family films suitable for the international market.

The 10-year-old company has been producing one feature per year but is set to become New Zealand's most prolific producer by upping output to three to five films annually in the US$2.5-4m budget range. It is hoped that an international TV series will also go ahead.