Taipei-based Double Edge Entertainment sealed a raft of deals during the Asian Film Market, including the sale of Hachiko, starring Richard Gere, and Smother, with Liv Tyler and Diane Keaton, to Korean distributor Cinaste.

Handled jointly for sales by Double Edge and LA-based Inferno, Hachiko was a big hit in Japan when released by Shochiku in August.

It was released to commemorate the anniversary of the true story in Japan (now adapted to the US) about a dog that appeared every day in a train station for ten years after its master passed away. The US release is scheduled for December 2009.

Also handled by Double Edge/Inferno, Smother is a comedy about an over-bearing mother moving in with her son.

In addition, Double Edge sold The Killer Elite, starring Jason Statham, and Lazurus Project, starring Paul Walker, to Korea’s Noori Pictures.

Noori also picked up all rights for Thailand on the same two titles, along with The King Of Fighters starring Maggie Q. The company also has first right of refusal on Korean rights for King Of Fighters when it screens at the American Film Market (AFM).

Double Edge producer and director of international distribution, Steve Chicorel, also reported strong interest from Asian buyers on Chinese-language action title Black & White. Based on a hit Taiwanese TV series, the project is scheduled to start shooting in Feb 2010 with Vic Chou in the lead.

“Because we’re fully funded, we don’t need to sell this picture until it’s completed. Yet, I was thrilled by all the interest introduced at this market,” said Chicorel.

Chicorel also found a director for a planned Korean-Taiwanese co-production at Pusan’s Asian Film Market. The as-yet-untitled project includes characters from Korea and China and is being scripted by a US writer before being translated into Korean and Chinese.

“I expect 50% to be in Chinese and 50% to be in Korean but that will depend on the director which we have just found in Pusan,” said Chicorel.

The director, who Chicorel met during Taiwan night at the Asian Film Market, is 27-year-old Chang Chi-wei, who was born in Taiwan, has one parent of Korean descent, and is fluent in English, Korean and Chinese.