GMM Pictures, the new film arm of Thai multimedia giant GMM Grammy, is emerging as a major player in the rapidly-expanding Thai film industry with its first feature set to open on 100 screens this weekend and another four pictures in various stages of production.

The outfit's debut film, Mekong Full Moon Party, (pictured) which premieres in Bangkok today (October 8), received its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival on October 2. Directed by Jira Maligool - the DoP of Thai smash Iron Ladies - the film is a comedy set around a real-life phenomenon which occurs in North-East Thailand at the end of each October.

Huge crowds gather every year in Thailand's Nong Khai Province to watch as fireballs float up mystically from the surface of the Mekong River. The film revolves around two scientists who go head-to-head to prove the fireballs are produced by either man or nature, while a neighbouring monk believes that he's responsible.

Meanwhile, GMM's second picture, One Night Husband, is nearing the end of principal photography in Bangkok. The suspense drama, about a woman whose husband disappears without trace after their wedding night, is directed by one of Thailand's few female directors, Pimpaka Towira, from a script by award-winning novelist Prabda Yoon.

While GMM fully financed its first two productions, the company is talking to Singapore's Raintree Pictures and the local outposts of two US studios about co-producing Beautiful Boxer. The film is based on the true story of controversial Thai kick boxer, Nong Toom, who used the proceeds from his fights to pay for a sex change. Singapore-based theatre director, Ekachai Uekrongtham, will direct the film which is set in Thailand, the US and Japan.

GMM is also developing a New York-set drama, February, to be directed by Yuthlert Sippapak (Killer Tattoo) and Pantham Thongsang's A Man Called Fak, about a man who has an affair with his dead father's widow.

GMM was set up at the end of 2000 to take advantage of the boom in Thai production. It is headed by Yod Sukwiwat - former general manager of Columbia TriStar and Buena Vista's joint distribution venture in Thailand.