Daniel Yu, chiefoperating officer of Andy Lau's Hong Kong-based Focus Films, and marketing anddistribution chief Lorna Tee, have left the company to form their ownproduction outfit.

From Jan 1, 2007their roles are being filled by Simon Li, a director of Focus Films Limited,and marketing executive Sharon Cheng.

Details of Yu andTee's new company will be announced later but the duo said they would continueto work with Focus on certain projects such as the Focus: First Cuts series ofHD films and Thai director Wisit Sasanatieng's upcoming tragi-comedy Armful.Tee said the move should enable them to devote more time to development andproduction.

During theirtenure at Focus Films, the dynamic husband-and-wife team oversaw the launch ofFocus: First Cuts, a series of six HD films from up-and-coming Chinesedirectors, which were heavily pre-sold across Asia and included Ning Hao'smainland China sleeper hit, Crazy Stone.

Yu also directedHK$40m romantic drama All About Love and the duo steered the company into internationalsales with pick-ups such as Patrick Tam's award-winning drama After This OurExile.

Meanwhile, FocusFilms is planning to launch the second volume of Focus: First Cuts in thesecond quarter of 2007.