Leading art-house seller Fortissimo is returning to itsroots with the pick-up of three pictures from Hong Kong.
Top of the list is Jiang Hu, a gangland epic which isalready benefiting from renewed interest in the genre following InfernalAffairs and has gone on to become one of the big hits of 2004. The pictureis directed by newcomer Wong Ching Po from a hefty $5m budget and stars localidols Andy Lau and Jacky Cheung alongside Infernal Affairs stars ShawnYue and Edison Chen. It grossed $1.15m in its first week on Hong Kong releaseand has scored equally well in Malaysia. Saturday sees an invitation onlymarket screening in Cannes.
In stylish chiller Koma, Karena Lam (Floating Landscape)and The Eye-star Lee Sin-Je feature as a victim and victimiser who contriveto lose their different identities. It is directed by rising director Lo ChiLeung, who previously delivered Viva Erotica and Inner Senses,and produced by boutique producer Filmko.
From Fortissimo's regular partner Applause Pictures, thecompany is selling The Eye 2, a sequel to Oxide and Danny Pang's horrorthriller The Eye. The film, which again explores the troubledrelationships between the spirit world and the living, this time stars sexsiren Shu Qi. The Eye 3 is set to go into production later this summerwith Fortissimo expected to be selling.
"It feels like going back to our Hong Kong roots," saidFortissimo co-chief Wouter Barendrecht. "These films are more commercialpictures than we might have handled in the past from Hong Kong, but they aredefinitely films with an artistic ambition and edge."