Milkyway Image, prolific Hong Kong filmmaker Johnny To's production entity, is to make its first investment in a film, despite the company having produced about 30 films since the mid-1990s.
Election (working title) tracks a democratic election held within the world of triads, a subject To confidently expects to have strong international legs. Milkyway's direct input will add more heart to the film's worldwide launch. No sales agents or distributors are attached as yet.
"I want this film to be made without compromise and to accurately depict this world. If the Hong Kong censors or the local market cannot accommodate that then I will consider making another version for international," he said through an interpreter during a flying visit to the Melbourne International Film Festival, which is screening Breaking News, which screened out of competition at Cannes.
The Hong Kong censors have already said that the original triad-orientated title was unacceptable as it could encourage illegal activity.
To's Throw Down, starring Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Louis Koo and Cherrie In, has just won an out of competition spot at the Venice Film Festival and screens at 10pm on opening night. It is already screening at cinemas in Melbourne's Chinatown.
Before making Election To will make The Sparrow for production/distribution outfit Universe Entertainment. It is built around the theme of pickpockets and will star Simon Yam. He has also submitted several very different concepts for films to China Star.