Korea's Guardtec Inc hasannounced that Phoenix Pictures head Mike Medavoy and Mr & Mrs Smith producer Lucas Foster have bought into the firm,marking the first time that Hollywood players have directly invested in alisted Korean production company.

The two US producers have also joined the company as advisoryboard members.

Originally a securitysystems company, Guardtec entered the film production sector in March when itacquired Da In Film, headed by producer Jonathan Kim, in a backdoor listing.

Previously head of HanmacFilms and producer of box office hits such as Silmido, Kim is currently the majority shareholder at Guardtec Incwith 10.16% of stock. Recent films include Lee Joon-ki starrer Fly Daddy Fly.

Kim also heads the KoreanMotion Picture Producers' Association, which is aligned with the Screen Quotamovement that objects to the reduction of the local film screening quota -considered a bulwark against a flood of US product. However, local market experts are lookingfavorably on this recent Hollywood investment as a sign of new possibilities for theindustry.

Guardtec raised about $5.2mthrough the sale of 4,660,000 shares placed Friday (Sep 8), to Japaneseinvestors as well as locals, and the two US producers who bought 220,000 shares each.

The company stated itanticipates the scale of Korean films to grow through a cooperativerelationship with their new shareholders, who are looking toward potential forco-production.