Hong Kong-based October Pictures and Korean visual effects company Metafive Art, Science And Magic have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOU) with South Korea's Gwangju Metropolitan City to promote Gwangju as an Asian hub for international CGI projects.

The two companies are also collaborating with Kinomotive Studio - founded by Hong Kong CGI veteran Frankie Chung (Kung Fu Hustle, Curse Of The Golden Flower) - to do VFX on upcoming production Beverly Hills Ninja 2 in Gwangju. The film will star David Hasselhoff, Lucas Grabeel and Taiwanese actress Lin Chiling, and is due to start shooting in early October on location in Jeju Island and Busan in Korea.

Established in 2000, October Pictures provided production services for films such as Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life and The Dark Knight. It now has offices in Beijing and Seoul. The company also produced feature film One Summer With You with mainland talent Xie Dong.

Metafive was started in Gwangju in 2007 by Park Yong-Jung, whose VFX credits include local hits A Man Who Was Superman and Marathon. The company plans to open another studio in Seoul by the end of the year.

The two companies' representatives were on hand as Gwangju mayor Park Kwang-Tae introduced a new plan for the city to develop into an 'Asian centre for computer graphics and visual effects' at the Gwangju Metropolitan City Investment Environment Forum in Shenzhen, China.

'We are proud to be based in Gwangju where the city government is making positive steps necessary to drive the CGI industry,' said Metafive's Park. 'We are pleased to partner with the best talents in Hong Kong from October Pictures to further enhance the creative content for visual effects and work on international films.'

'October Pictures is happy to expand our expertise from providing production services to top films [ ] to more creative processes now,' said principal director Chu Chen On. 'With Metafive and Frankie Chung as our partners, we are confidentaboutgrowing our business in the field of CGI and visual effects.'