Fortissimo Films has picked up worldwide sales rights outside Taiwan and Malaysia to Help Me Eros, directed by Taiwanese actor-turned-filmmaker Lee Kang-sheng.

The film tells the story of a stock-broker who finds comfort in marijuana, suicide hotline counsellor Chyi and local betelnut seller Shin after a market crash leaves him penniless. His sex and drug-filled world falls apart when Chyi's secret is revealed.

The deal was brokered between Fortissimo's co-chairman Wouter Barendrecht and Homegreen Films' Vincent Wang. Barendrecht stated, 'it is very exciting to see [Lee] blossom into his own as a world-class director with this daring, hilarious and shockingly explicit film.'

Lee, who has acted in many of Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang's films and made his feature directing debut with The Missing in 2003, has been planning Help Me Eros for several years, raising finance at the Cinemart, FilMart and Pusan project markets. Taiwan's Government Information Office came on board with $150,000 in seed money in December 2005.

Eros stars Lee as the stock-broker opposite Jane Liao as the hotline counsellor and Yin Shin as the betelnut seller. Liao acted with Lee in Wang Toon's A Way We Go. Up-and-coming Yin recently starred in Herman Yau's A Mob Story. Tsai Ming-liang and Vincent Wang co-executive produce for Homegreen Films.

Lee's The Missing won the New Current Award at the Pusan International Film Festival in 2003 where it received its world premiere. It also won a Tiger Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in 2004.

Fortissimo has a long-standing relationship with Tsai Ming-liang, representing Vive l'Amour, What Time Is It There' and his most recent feature, I Don't Want to Sleep Alone. Tsai is currently preparing a new feature, Salome, with financing from the Louvre Museum in Paris.