Seoul-based venture capital firm Digital Nega, a subsidiary of entertainment magazine publisher Nega, is financing a trio of digital features by prominent Asian directors Fruit Chan, Park Ki-Hyung and Hideo Nakata.

Although the themes of the three films differ, all are being shot using Sony HD Cam 1080/24P digital cameras and have budgets of about $800,000. Digital Nega claims it is the first Asian company "to have such well-known directors shoot in digital format for theatrical release."

Digital Nega is currently the sole investor in the package but expects other Korean media companies, including the KTV network, to participate. "We should get some financing from them this September," said Digital Nega executive producer Kim Chul-Soo.

The package includes:

  • Hong Kong director Fruit Chan's cross-border comedy Public Toilet W.C., which is being shot in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and the US through November.
  • Korean director Park Ki-Hyung's Temptation, an off-beat comic romance about a man and a woman who are strangers until they find themselves trapped in an intelligent building that has run amuck. After test filming with his digital equipment, Park plans to shoot from November to the end of February.
  • Last Scene from Japan's Hideo Nakata (The Ring), a drama about two ageing film stars who reunite on the set and rekindle their romance after a 35-year gap. The film is scheduled to premiere at this year's Pusan International Film Festival. The Japanese distributor and release date have not yet been decided.
  • One important goal of the project, according to Kim, is to expand Digital Nega's presence in the three main Asian markets of Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. "We wanted to work with successful and experienced directors to achieve this goal," said Kim.