LA-based Ford Movie Group (FMG) and Singapore studio Silver Media Group have signed three MOUs at ScreenSingapore to collaborate on East-meets-West filmmaking.

The first MOU is to establish InspirAsia, a three-film slate of “compelling stories with strong social messages”. The first of the slate will be crime saga Lanun, a film about maritime piracy that “exposes poverty and the conundrum of crime versus survival”. The producers say it’s described as “Slumdog Millionaire meets Scarface” and shooting is set to start in the third quarter of 2014.

Chan Gin Kai [pictured], executive producer of Silver Media Group said, “As filmmakers, we love to tell stories that thrill, tickle or even scare audience. But I believe we also have the responsibility to make films that will hopefully inspire a better world. It is a joy to partner with Fordtopia, a non-profit think tank that shares the same ideals in producing content that brings light to critical issues around the world.”

The second MOU is to create ActionAsia, a three-film slate of action thrillers set in locations around Asia. The producers plan to put together stars and production expertise from Hollywood and Asia to make exciting films for international audiences. The first film in this slate will be suspense thriller Home Invasion, set in Singapore. It will start shooting in the second quarter of 2014.

In addition to this production of original content, the companies’ collaboration will extend into distribution of acquired content, too. Ford Worldwide Distribution will set up a regional headquarters in Singapore in partnership with Silver Media Group to release Western feature films and TV programmes throughout Asia. It will also pick up Asian content for global distribution.

Marc Ford, CEO of FMG and executive director of Fordtopia said, “The world is turning its eyes to Asia, hungry for stories from this part of the world. Singapore is the gateway to Asia, and we are extremely happy to partner with one of your nation’s leading lights, Silver Media Group.”