Hong Kong director Daniel Lee is attached to direct action movie Red Eagle for Thailand's Film Hanza - a new production company set up by Cinemasia co-founders Duangkamol Limcharoen and Nonzee Nimibutr.

Limcharoen was awarded "Producer of the Year" on Thursday night at the CineAsia conference in Bangkok. The award was handed to her by Wong Kar Wai who described her "one of Asia's brightest lights".

Thai studio Sahamongkol is financing Red Eagle, which is based on a classic Thai movie of the same name. The story revolves around a superhero who fights crime on the streets of Bangkok.

Lee, whose credits include Black Mask starring Jet Li and A Fighter's Blues starring Andy Lau, will start pre-production on the film at the beginning of next month. His most recent film - action romance Star Runner produced by Hong Kong's Filmko Pictures - is set to open in Hong Kong on November 27.

Film Hanza was founded by producer Limcharoen and director-producer Nimibutr as a vehicle to produce genre movies and films aimed at the local Thai market. Their existing label, Cinemasia, is reserved for international films and has credits including Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Last Life In The Universe and horror omnibus Three.

The new outfit is currently shooting its first film - romantic drama The Letter, which started production in the northern city of Chiang Mai on November 7. Directed by Phaoon Chandharasiri, the film is a remake of a Korean movie which was the highest grossing film in Korea in 1997.

Meanwhile Cinemasia's most recent production, Okay Baytong, directed by Nimibutr is scheduled for release this Christmas. Set in southern Thailand, the film is a comedy drama about a Buddhist monk who is forced to leave his monastery and learns about the outside world from an eight-year-old girl.

"Nonzee wanted to make a film that touches on Buddhism," Limcharoen explains. "All Thais tell people that they are Buddhist - but in reality we don't know that much about the religion."