Hong Kong's Emperor Motion Pictures and Shanghai Film Studiohave formed a joint venture encompassing film production and talent management.

The joint venture, SFSEmperor Cultural Development Co, aims to produce five features and at least oneTV series by the end of 2007, with the first films to be announced next month.It will be headed by EMP's recently appointed production chief Philip Chan andShanghai Film Studio's Wang Tin-yun.

EMP chairman Albert Yeungsigned the deal with Shanghai Film Studio president Ren Zhonglun at the ShanghaiInternational Film Festival on Sunday.

The company's feature slatewill include a combination of films aimed at either the international orpan-Asian markets. As the joint venture is based in mainland China, all projects will be classed as domestic Chineseproductions.

EMP has not produced any newfilms over the past year but is expected to ramp up production following Chan'sappointment. Its international sales arm also handles films produced by its jointventure with Jackie Chan, JCE Movies, such as $17m action comedy Rob-B-Hood.

The company is also teamingwith Hong Kong's Sundream Motion Pictures to co-produce actionadventure Let's Steal Together, to bedirected by Kong Tao-hoi and set to star pop duo Twins, from the EMP talentstable.