Japan's new-look Gaga plans to produce up to 10Japanese films a year, in addition to international co-productions, as part ofa drive to expand its production activities.

Since launching production banner Gaga Films lastyear, the company has already shot two Japanese features - Ryo Nishimura's Waters,which opens in Japan next month, and Hatsu-koi (First Love)which is still in post-production.

Headed by Ringu producer Shinya Kawai, Gaga Films is alsoscheduled to start shooting street dancing movie Backdancersnext month.

TV director Kozo Nagayama will direct the film with anensemble cast including Aya Hirayama and female singer Hiro.

In April, Jiro Shono will start shooting drama TheLetter about an aspiring stand-up comedian with a darksecret. Takayuki Yamada (Train Man) and TetsujiTamayama (Nana) are heading the cast.

"We've achieved a strong track record in distributionand now want to focus on three kinds of production: domestic Japanese films,Japanese productions aimed at the worldwide market and internationalco-productions,' said Gaga president Yasuhide Uno.

The company's production ambitions are underwritten bythe $259m (Y30bn) contents fund set up by Gaga parent Usen Corp and DaiwaSecurities SMBC at the end of last year. Big-budget co-productions in the worksinclude game adaptations Onimusha with DavisFilms and Devil May Cry with BeaconCommunications.