Luc Besson's EuropaCorp will co-produce Thai director Wisit Sasanatieng's (Tears of the Black Tiger) next project withFive Star Production Company, marking the French mini-major's first foray intoAsian film production.

Titled NamPrix (which translates as hot chilli sauce), Nam Prix will start shooting early next year in Thailand for alate-2006 delivery with a budget estimated around the $3 million mark.

According to EuropaCorp'sartistic advisor Francois Da Silva, in Bangkok for thelaunch of the project, his company is looking at several other Asian projectswith the aim of co-producing more films in the region.

EuropaCorp has an ongoing relationship with Sasanatieng:earlier this year, the French mini-major picked up US and European sales rightsto the director's current film, CitizenDog, also produced by Five Star. Previously, it handled French distributionon Sasanatieng's debut, Tears of the Black Tiger, which was the first Thai film invited to screenin Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2001.

Sasanatieng first developed the story for Nam Prix seven years ago; afood-based tale, it melds an ancient myth with a famous Thai dish and his scriptwas selected for the Pusan Promotion Plan in 2002.

Five Star, establishedin 1973, is one of Thailand'soldest production houses. This year, it has Thai distribution rights on Pen-ek Ratanaruang's current project Invisible Waves, having co-produced his Last Life In TheUniverse. Five Star is also developing four otherprojects, including Art of the Devil 2, DeadOn Air, 30 Years Later and BedsideStories - the last two are being co-produced with GMM Tai Hub.