Beijing-based MingProductions has boarded AJ Annila's Jade Warrior, billed as Finland's "first ever martial arts movie",which is set to shoot in China, Finland and Estonia starting in August.
Also the first-everChinese-Scandinavian co-production, the $3m film was previously set to shootonly in Finland with an all-Finnish cast. It will now shoot for four weeksoutside Hengdian World Studios, with Chinese actors joining Finland's TommiEronen and Markku Peltola in the cast.
Peter Loehr's Ming willco-produce with Finland's Blind Spot Pictures, Estonia's Film Tower and FuWorks in the Netherlands. Fu Works' San Fu Maltha will distribute through his AFilms outfit in Benelux. Sandrew Metronome has Scandinavian rights.
Blind Spot's Tero Kaukomaa,who is producing the film with his partner Petri Jokiranta, says the film mixesChinese and Hong Kong elements with a Finnish mentality: "It's basically akung-fu fantasy combining Finnish and Chinese mythologies which makes itsomething totally new."
Annila is a first-timedirector but impressed Kaukomaa, who co-produced Lars von Trier's Dancer InThe Dark, with her showreel. Eronenand Peltola are training with Stockholm-based "sifu" (martial arts master) YuYan-Kai.
The film has backing fromthe Finnish Film Foundation, regional Finnish fund Villila, Finnish broadcasterYLE TV1, the Estonian Film Fund and ZDF/Arte. The producers are currently intalks with sales agents.