Run Papa Run

Filmart's host country has a strong line-up of product this year, from social dramas and crime thrillers to big-budget martial-arts films.

Media Asia is selling Dante Lam's The Sniper, starring Richie Jen and Huang Xiaoming, along with thriller Lady Cop & Papa Crook, co-directed by Alan Mak and Felix Chong and starring the equally hot duo of Sammi Cheng and Eason Chan.

The Pang brothers' highly anticipated Storm Riders sequel heads the slate of Universe Films Distribution, which will also be selling Johnnie To's The Sparrow, fresh from its Berlin world premiere.

Emperor Motion Pictures will be focusing on Jay Chou-starrer Kung Fu Dunk and the Sylvia Chang drama Run Papa Run (pictured), which receives a gala premiere at this year's Hkiff.

Sundream's top titles include action film The Champions, to be directed by Tsui Siuming, and Zhang Yibai's drama Lost Indulgence, starring Karen Mok.

Mei Ah Entertainment will be selling Lawrence Lau's Besieged City and Derek Kwok's drama Moss. Mandarin's slate is headed by Tsui Hark's romantic thriller Missing.

Hong Kong-based Golden Network Asia will be offering martial-arts fantasy An Empress And The Warriors, along with Korean titles Forever The Moment, Miss Gold Digger and Radio Dayz.

Liz Shackleton



Thailand's Sahamongkolfilm International will showcase Prachya Pinkaew's hit Chocolate (pictured) and two upcoming films: Tony Jaa's directorial debut Ong Bak 2 and Nonzee Nimibutr's sea adventure Queens Of Pattani, now in post-production.

Five Star has Wisit Sasanatieng's superhero thriller The Red Eagle, starring Ananda Everingham; highly anticipated horror Art Of The Devil 3, and comedy Boonchu 9.

Mono Films will present ghost comedy I.C.U. Ghost Of Fine Arts, comedy Aramboy and two romantic dramas - Happy Birthday, from Me Myself director Pongpat Wachirabunjong, and Miss You, Two, which is in post-production.

Meanwhile, Malaysia's National Film Development Corporation (Finas) and Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) will lead a delegation of 21 companies, including Grand Brilliance, which will launch Kabir Bhatia's omnibus Sepi.

As Singapore's Media Development Authority is not taking part in Filmart this year, the city-state's TV producers' group Aipro will lead a delegation. This will include film companies such as start-up Originasian Pictures, which will make its market debut with Boi Kwong's The Days. The action drama is in production and has been picked up by Golden Village for release this September in Singapore.

Silvia Wong


I Am Liu Yuejin

China Film Promotion International (Cfpi) is bringing a delegation of 52 film and TV production outfits to Filmart, including private companies Huayi Brothers and Chengtian Entertainment.

Huayi Brothers will focus on promoting Sino-US co-production The Forbidden Kingdom, to which it holds Chinese rights. The company's two in-house productions for this year - Feng Xiaogang's The Nobles and Judge D to be directed by Tsui Hark - are both at script stage and not ready for the market.

Chengtian is showcasing black comedy I Am Liu Yuejin (pictured), co-produced with China Film Group, while JA Media will focus on Tsui Hark's She Ain't Mean and Stanley Kwan's He Is, He Isn't, set to star Aaron Kwok.Cheerland Entertainment is bringing the animation feature Peculiar Kin, coming-of-age drama Angel's Heart and China-Canada mini-series Iron Road, about the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880s.

Cfpi is representing the productions of several mainland companies for international sales, including a few Olympics-related titles, such as China Film's The One, directed by Hou Yong, Henan Film Studio's Four Little Shaolin Kung-fu Stars, and Massway Film's teenage basketball story Dream Team.

It will also present comedy hit Two Stupid Eggs, directed by A-Gan; Yin Lichuan's romantic drama Knitting; Wang Jing's End Of The Year, and Erma's Wedding, about a woman from a Chinese ethnic minority group.

Sen-lun Yu


Drifting Flowers

Filmart has emerged as an important launch pad for new Taiwan movies as titles without an official screening at the Berlinale are increasingly held back for the Hong Kong market. Companies at the government-sponsored Taiwan booth include CMC Entertainment, Joint Entertainment and Three Dots Entertainment.

Distributor Joint launched Taiwan's first non-mainstream international sales outfit at Pusan's Asian Film Market in October. It has two new titles at Filmart, both in pre-production: Lin Yu-hsien's homage to romance movies Flame By Frame, and historical drama Cafe Astoria, from Blue Gate Crossing director Yee Chih-yen.

CMC is continuing sales on Chang Tso-chi's gangster drama Soul Of A Demon, which opens this year's Hkiff. Three Dots has two new lesbian dramas: Drifting Flowers(pictured) from Zero Chou, whose Spider Lilies sold to 15 territories, and Chen Hung-i's omnibus Candy Rain, starring Karena Lam and pop singer Cyndi Wang.

Independent sales agent Chang San-ling is representing Gilles Yang's Orz Boys, which like Candy Rain, is receiving its world premiere at the Hkiff. Yang's debut is a bittersweet comedy about growing up that should appeal to Japanese buyers, children's festivals and TV stations.

Stephen Cremin



Filmart has been attracting a growing number of US sales companies, which find the market a useful place to spend quality time with Asian buyers.

Mandate International, established last year after Mandate Pictures was acquired by regular Filmart attendee Lionsgate, is offering a large slate of product, including Sam Raimi's thriller Drag Me To Hell, romantic comedy Chilled In Miami and the US remake of Hong Kong horror The Eye, starring Jessica Alba.

Another Filmart regular, Lakeshore Entertainment, will be selling Isabel Coixet's Elegy (pictured), fresh from Berlin competition, UK film-maker Michael Apted's Amazing Grace and dramatic comedy Henry Poole Is Here, starring Luke Wilson and Radha Mitchell.

Mainline Releasing/Lightning Entertainment is screening Vietnamese action title The Rebel, while Echo Bridge is focusing on comedy My Life In Ruins from the creators of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Nu Image/Millennium Films is pre-selling action title Ninja, about a warrior who confronts a gang of assassins, John Avnet's Righteous Kill, starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, and thriller The Code, starring Morgan Freeman and Antonio Banderas.

Shoreline's slate is headed by martial-arts title Wushu Warrior, a Sino-Canada co-production directed by Alain Desrochers, while Porchlight has drama Towards Darkness and thriller Secrets Of Pine Cove.

Telefilm Canada is also heading a delegation of around 16 production and sales companies including Delphis Films, Screen Siren Pictures and Bay Film Studios.

Liz Shackleton


The Song Of Sparrows

Amsterdam and Hong Kong-based Fortissimo Films is focusing on The Song Of Sparrows, (pictured) from Iranian director Majid Majidi, and Alex Rivera's Sleep Dealer at Filmart. Sleep Dealer recently scooped two prizes at Sundance, while The Song Of Sparrows won best actor at Berlin.

Under the UniFrance umbrella, Paris-based Celluloid Dreams is offering documentary Patti Smith: Dream Of Life and Jonathan Levine's Sundance audience-award winner The Wackness.

Among other French sales agents, StudioCanal has Erick Zonca's Julia and Films Distribution is selling Wang Xiaoshuai's In Love We Trust, both of which premiered in competition at Berlin.

Wild Bunch is screening Hana Makhmalbaf's Buddha Collapsed Out Of Shame, which is nominated for best film at the Asian Film Awards, while Memento Films has Aditya Assarat's Pusan and Rotterdam prize-winner, Wonderful Town.

German Films Service & Marketing is bringing five sales companies to the market, including The Match Factory, which has Reclaim Your Brain screening in the Hkiff, and Beta Cinema which has two films in the festival - Oscar-winner The Counterfeiters and Sergei Bodrov's Mongol. German sales companies Bavaria Film, Media Luna and Telepool are also attending.

The UK Film Council's delegation includes regional film commissions in addition to sales agents such as Capitol Films, Celsius, ContentFilm International and Ealing Studios.

Spain will also have a big presence at the market via producers' association Fapae and Icex which are bringing around 13 film and TV sales companies including Filmax, Latido Films and Kevin Williams Associates.

Liz Shackleton


Lovers of 6 Years

From Korea, CJ Entertainment has Park Chan-wook's Thirst, which is also participating in HAF; Kim Jee-woon's The Good, The Bad And The Weird; Kim Yoo-jin's The Divine Weapon, and Chung Ji-woo's Modern Boy.

In addition, Gianna Jun stars with Hwang Jung-min in CJ's A Man Who Was Superman, while Son Ye-jin heads a pickpocket ring in Open City.

Fine Cut in association with Cineclick Asia has Na Hong-jin's hit thriller The Chaser; Ba:bo from Ditto director Kim Jung-kwon, which stars Cha Tae-hyun and Ha Ji-won; love story omnibus Love, First, and Eye For An Eye, co-directed by KT Kwak and Ahn Gwon-tae.

Showbox is selling thriller The Guard Post; Kim Ki-duk's upcoming Dreams, starring Joe Odagiri and Lee Na-young; melodrama His Last Gift; and Ryoo Seung-wan's upcoming action title Dachimawa Lee (working title).

KM Culture has father-son cop drama My New Partner, while Prime Entertainment has hit thriller The Devil's Game. Showeast has Himalaya, starring Choi Min-shik; iHQ has rom-com Crazy Waiting; Mirovision has Once Upon A Time In Corea, and M&FC is selling romance Hello, Schoolgirl (working title).

Studio2.0 has Tae-Chun Park's Sharaku, which is also in HAF, rom-com Lovers Of 6 Years (pictured) and comic fantasy Viva! Love.

Jean Noh



Japan's Movie-Eye is returning to Filmart with three new titles, including Shinya Tsukamoto's horror-thriller sequel Nightmare Detective 2, now in post-production.

Also on Movie-Eye's slate is action comedy Tea Fight and comedy drama Cafe Isobe. Japan-China co-production Tea Fight is directed by Edward Yang protege Wang Yemin and stars Teruyuki Kagawa and Erika Toda. Cafe Isobe, directed by Keisuke Yoshida, is about a single father who falls in love with a waitress.

Avex Entertainment, which has been expanding its Asian sales activities in the past year, is bringing KIDS(pictured) to the market. Teppei Koike, from boy band WaT, stars as a young man with the power to heal people's wounds. Hiroshi Tamaki (Midnight Eagle) and Chiaki Kuriyama (Kill Bill) also star.

In addition, buyers will get their first look at several Toei titles, including prolific cult director Takashi Miike's latest genre-bending film The Puzzle Of God.

Toei will also show buyers hardboiled thriller Chameleon: Long Goodbye, featuring Death Note star Tatsuya Fujiwara, and J-horror pioneer Norio Tsuruta's Orochi: Blood, starring Yoshino Kimura who also appears in Fernando Meirelles' upcoming Blindness.

Jason Gray.