Korea's Core Studio isfinancing and handling international sales on the first horror film from hotKorean director Lee Myung-se.

Entitled M, the $5m film is a supernatural love story between a30-something writer and a mysterious young girl. It's currently being scriptedand production is expected to start in September or October. Core Studio ispoised to sign a major Korean star to the project.

Lee first came tointernational attention with visually ground-breaking crime thriller NowhereTo Hide (2000), which premiered atSundance, and has long planned to direct an atmospheric horror. More recentlyhe directed period martial arts title Duelist, which is also handled by Core Studio.

Duelist opened in France yesterday (May 17) through LaFabrique De Films and was also recently released in Japan by Comstock.

Meanwhile, Core Studio isalso launching pre-sales on action title Mina, based on a popular Korean manga about a young girlwho is raised as a killer by her own father. Core Studio is hoping to set thefilm up as international co-production and is talking to potential partnershere in Cannes. The company is also considering non-Korean directors for theproject.

Core Studio's slate alsoincludes Kim Taekyun's action adventure Sword And Flower, about two men investigating a serial murder case inthe 18th century; Park Chanshik's comedy Mr Bae, The Bat Cop; action adventure No Mercy For The Rude, directed by Park Chulhee, and Im Kyungsoo'sthriller Bystanders.