The organisers of theMannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival's annual 'CoproductionMeetings' are considering expanding the gathering to include projects from Asiain the future.

Speaking at a workshop onthe development of the co-production market since its founding in 1996,co-ordinator Olaf Aichinger said that they were encouraged by the fact that aproject from China, Haolun Shu's DV-shot coming of age tale Run Away, had proven to be the projectattracting the most attention for one-to-one meetings this year.

Shu, whose previous filmsinclude the documentaries On TheBoardwalk (1999), Struggle (2001)and Nostalgia (2004), which iscurrently in postproduction, would produce through his own company, theShanghai-based Film Spirit Productions.

Aichinger reported that over40 of the 400-odd projects pitched over the previous Mannheim Meetings had beencompleted thanks to their exposure at the co-production market. These includedsuch films as Josue Mendez's Dias DeSantiago (Peru/Germany), Audrius Juzenas' Ghetto (Lithuania/Germany), Jessica Hausner's Lovely Rita (Germany/Austria), Auli Mantila's Geography Of Fear (Finland/Germany/Denmark)., and Zola Maseko's Drum (UK/South Africa).

This year, 63 projects from30 countries are being pitched between November 21-25, with a new section beingdedicated specifically to Africa.