Hong Kong's Salon Films has formed an affiliation of pan-Asian production and financing companies to help facilitate international productions in the region.

In addition to Salon Films, the partners include China's Hengdian World Studios, leading Japanese talent agency and producer Yoshimoto Kogyo Co, Singapore's MediaCorp Raintree Pictures and Cayman Islands-based fund Access Asia.

The partners have previously worked together on pan-Asian co-production Painted Skin, starring Donnie Yen.

'The move is intended to achieve a radically new, integrated production approach that will open the door to greater ease and efficiency for foreign companies seeking to produce motion pictures in Asia,' said Salon Films in a statement.

Salon Films has been providing production services to overseas films for decades and is also involved in local-language production and co-production.

Salon Films' chairman Fred Wang explained that the network could provide services from financing to location management and could be tapped either by international productions coming to the region or by projects generated internally by the partners. He added that projects could use some or all of the partners: 'It's like a hospital where the patient might not need all the departments - but at least you know they're there.'

Access Asia is in the process of establishing a fund and setting up mostly English-language co-productions aimed at theinternational market. Partners include veteran producer John Heyman (A Passage To India), father of David Heyman, producer of the Harry Potter films.

'Asia has a growing economy and culture that is influencing the world - and the world is awaiting its productions,' said Access Asia general partner Christopher Brough at the press conference at Filmart today.

Salon Filmsalso announced a strategic alliance with Hengdian, a partnership deal with Yoshimoto Kogyo and a co-production deal with Raintree Pictures.

Under the deal with Yoshimoto, Salon Films will represent the Japanese company in co-investment and co-production arrangements in Asia.

Meanwhile, Salon and Raintree have agreed toco-produce five international films, budgeted at $2m-15m,over the next three years. They are currently developing aromantic drama, anepic dramaanda story about a Singaporean child's dream to be an NBAsuperstar.