Fortissimo and Kuzui Enterprises have joined forces to launch Bohemian Films, a fusion of Asian talent and European style financing and co-productions.

Launching with a slate of six features boasting budgets in the $5m-$20m range, the new company has been formed by Fortissimo principals, Wouter Barendrecht and Michael Werner, and Kuzui Enterprises heads Kaz Kuzui and Fran Rubel Kuzui.

Bohemian is owned and structured as an entity controlled by the four principals and run separately from their established companies. "We will be developing a separate body of work, drawing on our Asian connections," said Tokyo and Los Angeles-based Rubel Kuzui, who will head production for Bohemian. "This will allow us to handle a wider range of product that we have traditionally been involved in, many pictures will be in English-language," said Barendrecht.

The slate is headed by Black Tight Ninjas, an English-language female action picture likely to shoot in Spring 2003. Bohemian is in advanced talks with stars from Korea, Japan and China.

With Hong Kong's Applause Pictures, Bohemian is readying the $6m-$7m Six Hermits, a martial arts epic to be directed by Danny and Oxide Pang.

First off is Last Life In The Universe, a black comedy to be directed by Mon-rak Transistor director Pen-ek Ratanaruang with cinematography by Chris Doyle. The cast is headed by Japanese superstar Asano Tadanobu.

Also on the debut slate are a remake of 6ixtynin9 and an untitled picture about an Asian hairdresser in Hollywood, produced by Peter Chan Ho Sun and Rubel Kuzui.

Finance for the slate will commence on a picture-by-picture basis, with some films offered to studio partners and others handled through sales and pre-sales channels. Werner said that former Union Bank and Sumitomo Bank executive Joe Wolf had been appointed to handle negotiations with institutions and that a relationship with a bank could be announced in the next days.