Beijing-based Huayi Brothers has tied up a slew of Asian sales on Hong Kong actor Francis Ng’s martial arts comedy Tracing Shadow, which is proving to be a hot seller in the run-up to Cannes.

The $3m action comedy has been sold to Scorpio East for Singapore and Malaysia, New Action Entertainment for Taiwan and WEG India for India and the Middle East, among other territories.

Hong Kong’s Emperor Motion Pictures (EMP) has also come on board to co-distribute the film with Huayi Brothers in Hong Kong. Although EMP is not a co-producer on the film, it has been partnering with Huayi on the distribution of select film releases.

Well-known actor Ng (Exiled) co-directed Tracing Shadow with Marco Mak, and also stars in the film alongside Jaycee Chan, son of actor Jackie Chan, whose credits include The Sun Also Rises and Invisible Target.

The story revolves around a group of kung-fu masters of different disciplines who end up living in the same village and pretending to be ordinary citizens in order to lay their hands on a hidden treasure map.

Huayi Brothers CEO Wang Zhonglei says the film is an affectionate tribute to the the martial arts classics of the 1970s such as King Hu’s Dragon Inn. The recently-completed film is scheduled for a June 2009 pan-Asian release.

Huayi Brothers’ Cannes slate also includes Chen Kuo-fu’s $10m spy thriller The Message (formerly called Twilight) which is set in Japanese-occupied Nanking in the 1940s.

Currently in production, The Message stars Zhang Hanyu, Li Bingbing, Zhou Xun and Huang Xiaoming.