South Korea's Kraze Pictures has announced a co-production Boat with Japan's IMJ Entertainment to star Ha Jung-woo from recent Cannes thriller The Chaser and Satoshi Tsumabuki from arthouse favorite Josee, The Tiger And The Fish.

Byun Bonghyun, producer at Kraze said, 'The Korean market has its limits, and the Japan market is doing well. IMJ and Kraze are both making a 50:50 equity investment, looking at the global market as one.'

Directed by Kim Young-nam (Don't Look Back), the $1.9m (Y200m) film is to start shooting in Niigata, Japan at the end of the month with plans for release in the first half of 2009.

Ha plays a Korean smuggler while Tsumabuki plays his counterpart who helps him in Japan. Money, family, and friendships weigh them down but their lives are further entwined when they are ordered to kidnap a young Korean woman.

Kim's Don't Look Back was a PPP/NDIF project that was later co-produced with Japanese broadcaster NHK. The film closed the 7th Jeonju International Film Festival and won the FIPRESCI and NETPAC awards at the Locarno film festival in 2006.

The Boat script is written by Aya Watanabe, whose credits include La Maison De Himiko and Josee, The Tiger And The Fish.

IMJ Entertainment is a subsidiary of Japan's IMJ Group, which holds businesses in feature film and visual content, talent management and web creation. Other IMJ companies include Studio Swan, IMJ Mobile, and IMJ Korea.

Kraze Pictures is a division of Kraze Entertainment, a film, commercial and talent management company with offices in Korea and Japan. Kraze Entertainment in turn is owned by Kraze Holdings which comprises IT, security guard services, food and beverage and entertainment businesses.

Theproduction companyis alsoprepping a vampire action film based on the Kodansha manga Higanjima by Goji Matsumoto.