Arclight Films’ Asian division Easternlight has picked up Malaysian action drama Bunga Lalang, directed by Dain Iskandar Said and produced by Convergence Entertainment and Malaysia’s Apparat.

The film, which starts shooting next month, aims to be gritty and realistic in the same vein as recent action films emerging from South-East Asia such as Merantau and the Ong Bak series.

The director, who is known for his commercials, documentary and media art work in South-East Asia, has enlisted real Asian martial arts fighters to support the cast which includes Faizal Hussein, Hasnul Rahmat and Zahiril Adzim.

Said’s last film, Dukun, a horror movie about black magic, was financed by Astro-Shaw. It was banned in Malaysia and never released.

His new project follows the story of love lost between three estranged brothers – an assassin, a businessman and a kickboxer nicknamed Bunga Lalang – and their ailing father who was once respected shadow puppet master.

Nandita Solomon is producing with Tim Kwok from Convergence as executive producer.

Jarin Pengpanich, who recently shot Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, serves as DoP, while HK Panca who edited the Indonesian horror hit Macabre serves as editor.

Easternlight will handle worldwide sales excluding a handful of South-East Asian territories.