Michael Weber's The MatchFactory and Hong Kong-based Emperor Motion Pictures (EMP) will handleinternational distribution of Kenneth Bi's TheDrummer, 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 Munichand Cologne-based The Match Factory will handle sales in the rest of the world.

Yam's credits includeJohnnie To' s Election and its sequelElection 2, which screens in officialselection here at Cannes, while Lee recently starred in the Pang Brothers' Re-cycle, screening in Un CertainRegard.

The Drummertells the story of a reckless gangster's son who is transformed into a matureadult through the inspiration of zen drumming. World-renowned Taiwanese drumtroupe, U Theatre, will also star in the film.

The film, budgeted at under$2m, is a co-production between Hong Kong'sKenbiroli Films, Taiwan's Arc Light Films and Twenty Twenty Vision of Germany with backing fromGermany's Medienbord Berlin-Brandenburg.

Production is scheduled tostart in Hong Kong and Taiwan next month. Producers are Peggy Chiao, Rosa Li andThanassis Karathanos

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