Michael Weber's The MatchFactory and Hong Kong-based Emperor Motion Pictures (EMP) will handleinternational distribution of Kenneth Bi's The Drummer, set to star Simon Yam and Lee Sinje.

EMP will handle distributionto select Asian territories on the drama, which revolves around the art ofChinese zen drumming, while Munich and Cologne-based The Match Factory willhandle sales in the rest of the world.

Yam's credits includeJohnnie To' s Election and itssequel Election 2, which screensin official selection here at Cannes, while Lee recently starred in the PangBrothers' Recycle, screening inUn Certain Regard.

The Drummer tells the story of a reckless gangster's son who istransformed into a mature adult through the inspiration of zen drumming.World-renowned Taiwanese drum troupe, U Theatre, will co-star in the film.

Budgeted at under $2m, thefilm is a co-production between Hong Kong's Kenbiroli Films, Taiwan's Arc LightFilms and Twenty Twenty Vision of Germany with backing from Germany'sMedienbord Berlin-Brandenburg.

Production is scheduled tostart in Hong Kong and Taiwan next month. Peggy Chiao, Rosa Li and ThanassisKarathanos will produce.

Bi previously directed RiceRhapsody, for which he received thebest new director award at this year's Hong Kong Film Awards.