Taipei-based Three Dots Entertainment picked up international sales rights to Chinese director Ning Jingwu's Lala's Gun, at the annual Beijing Screenings held last week.

The deal marks the first time that Three Dotsis handlinginternational sales for a film directed by a mainland Chinese filmmaker.

Three Dots follows Peggy Chiao's Arclight Films as a Taiwan company representing a mainland Chinese film in the international market. It will bring the film to the upcoming Asian Film Marketat the Pusan International Film Festival.

Lala's Gun is a coming-of-age story about a boy who goes on a journey in search of his father. The film is shot completely on location in Guizhou, south-western province of China, and is set in the actual Miao village of Ba Sha. All the actors are non-professionals, scouted from the village and nearby area, and most have never seen a movie in their lives.

Ning Jingwu is considered one of the most prolific film directors in China. His works often represent concerns for minority groups and people disadvantaged by their class. Ning's Silent River (2000) won a Special Award for Directing at the Moscow International Film Festival for Children and Young People.

Three Dots began working with mainland Chinese film companies in 2007, with My DNA says I Love You, co-produced with Orange Sky Entertainment (formerly known as Chengtian Entertainment). In 2008, the company set up an office in Beijing, with plans to more extensively work with mainland filmmakers and film companies.

Three Dots expansion into China is echoed by the other Taiwanese film companies participating in the Beijing Screenings this year. The Taipei-based Chinese Movie and TV Union Federation was instrumental in bringing several Taiwanese film companies to join the Beijing event.

Wang Ying-hsiang, chairman of the federation, expressed hope that China would lift the import quota on films made in Taiwan. This would allow Taiwanese films to enjoy the status of Hong Kong films under the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Since the more China-friendly Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou was elected in March, cross-strait relations have been improved and filmmakers hope this will translate into film business.