Billed as a step up in pan-Asian co-operation, Fortissimo Film Sales unveiled details of Three, an omnibus film featuring three of the region's most commercially successful directors.
Nonzee Nimibutr, director of Thailand's Jan Dara and Nang Nak, Korea's Kim Jee Won, who previously directed The Foul King, and Hong Kong-based Peter Chan Ho-sun (The Love Letter) will each contribute a mystery tale featuring ghosts and spirits. It is believed to be the first co-production between the three territories.
The film sees each 30-35 minute segment separately produced and financed for a total budget of $2.5m. Two of the three parts have completed principal photography and will move into post-production in Thailand. The whole is expected to be delivered in Spring in time for major festivals and, in another novelty, to receive a co-ordinated multi-territory release in Asia.
Production is by Oh Jung-wan's BOM Film Production from Korea, with Korean finance from CJ Entertainment, Limcharoen Duangkmol's Cinemasia from Thailand, with finance from from Thai major Sahamongkul, and from Hong Kong's Applause Pictures. Applause, which is owned by Chan, Teddy Chen and Allan Fung, will also bankroll the Hong Kong part of the picture. International revenues from outside the producer territories will be shared equally.
"This is much more than a ghost story. Three deals with the fundamentals of our cultures and beliefs," said Nonzee Nimibutr. "Korean ghosts are very different from those in the West. Mostly they have a love and affection for those left behind," said Kim.
While the directors were keen to keep plot details under wraps Fortissimo's Wouter Barendrecht will be pitching the film as a film by "three auteurs with established commercial appeal." He said that the film-makers are keen to ensure releases in the three home territories within a month of each other after delivery at the end of March or early April 2002.
'This is a project with minimal risk," said Chan. "It is about opening doors between territories. We will each work in our local language and in doing so promote Asian film-making to Asian audiences."