Natacha Devillers' Les Petites Lumieres is launching a project to bring Western filmmakers to China to make genre movies.

Devillers is developing a slate of low-budget genre films - entitled China Syndromes - in partnership with Taiwanese producer Wendy Kuan and UK filmmaker Simon Rumley.

Among the directors who are developing projects for the slate are Thomas Clay (The Great Ecstasy Of Robert Carmichael), Karim Hussain (Ascension) and Douglas Buck whose upcoming Sisters stars Stephen Rea and Chloe Sevigny. Rumley, whose The Living And The Dead was a hit on the fantasy film festival circuit, is also developing a project called Stranger.

Although low-budget genre filmmaking could help grow the nascent China market, most local filmmakers are interested in making arthouse films. 'By combining Western sensibilities with Asian influences, we aim to offer a unique series of genre films,' said Devillers.

Devillers is also producing an adaptation of popular French children's novel Little Eagle which is being scripted by March Of The Penguins co-writer Michel Fessler. Italy's Cristiano Bortone is on board to direct.

Les Petites Lumieres has also co-produced Chinese arthouse titles such as Diao Yinan's Night Train, David Verbeek's Shanghai Trance and Han Jie's Walk On The Wild Side which won a Tiger award at Rotterdam in 2006.