Hong Kong-based Fortune Star Entertainment makes its Mifed debut this year with a slate headed by two new pictures by Infernal Affairs co-director Andrew Lau.
The micro-studio, which is attached to News Corp's Star TV division, has also sealed a two-picture production and sales deal with US-based director Kirk Wong and will be handling its first third-party pickup at the market.
California Monks is set as Lau's next picture after Infernal Affairs III, the final instalment in Media Asia's hit police series which is due for release next month. Monks is pitched as a traditional kung fu action picture with modern camerawork.
It will go into production in the second quarter of 2004 with finance coming from Fortune Star and co-production partners to be finalised. "We have enormous confidence in Andrew's talent. He is extremely good at handling ensemble casts," said Fortune Star chief Peter Poon. The company has a two-picture deal with Lau (no relation to star, Andy Lau), but has yet to set up the second picture from a number that the director is developing in association with the company.
Fortune Star has also committed to sell and part-finance two from Wong, director of Jackie Chan vehicle Crime Story and The Big Hit, who will attend Mifed to discuss the new projects with distributors. First off will be the $7m Blood Bond, an action-horror project with battles between Oriental and Western vampires, which was developed in-house at Fortune Star. Dialogue is in English and Chinese. Wong himself wrote and developed We Can Be Heroes, a Mexico-set action piece.
Fortune Star will be seeking pre-sales and multi-territory investment partners. Star TV and Fox are likely to be multi-territory buyers as they are for the outfit's first third party pick-up, the recently announced Shanghai romance Leaving Me Loving You. (ScreenDaily.com, Nov 4).