Seeking to build greater international understandingthrough film, US-based organisations First Run Features and Asia Society haveteamed up to bring Chinese features to North American theatres, DVD andtelevision markets.

The two bodies will create joint marketing and promotionalcampaigns for all titles across the various stages of release.

The collaboration will kick off with Xiao Jiang's directorialdebut Electric Shadows,which recently won the Audience Award at the Deauville Asian Film Festival, andwill screen at the Asia Society in New York on Oct 14.

"We are excited about bringing to the American peoplequality films from China, that great and changing part of the world," First RunFeatures president Seymour Wishman said,

"As China continues to be a global force, it is critical that weprovide a nuanced understanding of China' s diversity, history and culturalrichness," Asia Society president Vishakha N Desai added.

Since launching in 1979, First Run Features has carved out areputation as a leading distributor of foreign and documentary films, includingThe War At Home and S21:The Khmer Rouge Death Machine.

The group has become increasingly politically aware, andin late 2003 launched a discussion website about the politics of war andAmerica's involvement in the fight against terrorism.

Asia Society has been a prominent promoter of Asian cinema toAmerican audiences as part of its broader educational remit ever since it wasfounded by the philanthropist John D Rockefeller 3rd in the 1950s.