Korean broadcast giant MBC has set Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP) title Cry Woman as one of the first pictures to benefit from its new feature investment arm. MBC Production Co, which benefits from a modest $13m (Won15bn) revolving fund put up by 16 of the channel's regional branches and Terasource Venture Capital, aims to invest in pictures which broaden the demographics of Korean cinema.

Cry Woman is a $1m art-house title set up as a co-production between Korea, China and France that is written and directed by China's Liu Bingjian, who previously directed Locarno award winner Men And Women. Telling the story of a woman who becomes a professional mourner after her husband is sent to jail, Cry Woman has completed principal photography and at PPP was seeking completion finance. Produced by Deng Ye's Asparas Films, Ellen Kim's Flying Tiger Pictures and Mirovision of Korea and Michel Reilhac's Melange, it scooped the $20,000 Kodak prize when the PPP awards were announced yesterday.

Delivery is scheduled for May 2002. "Cry Woman is typical of the kind of quality picture we aim to produce through the fund," said MBC Production president Choi Jong-soo. "It has a very strong script and the director has a unique style."

Choi has also backed an untitled picture by Hong Sang-soo and Desire, a co-production with Myung Films. The company also invested in and is co-promoting the Korean distribution of Alejandro Amenabar's The Others that was imported and is to be released by Mirovision."

Beginning with The Others and Cry Woman, which Mirovision will sell internationally, MBC Production and Mirovision are in advanced discussions concerning a partnership in the international arena.