Despite her recent resignation from Media Asia Group, Hong Kong's film industry veteran Nansun Shi is to stay on as senior advisor to the group.

Shi took up the top post 18 months ago after Peter Lam has become the largest single shareholder of the group. One of her main roles was to structure the group into a sound and professionally-run film company.

Now that this has been achieved, Shi told Screen that her mission at Media Asia has been completed, which was the reason for her departure. But the new arrangement as consultant will continue to involve her in Media Asia.

According to Shi, one of Media Asia's new projects is the establishment of a joint venture with China Films - with the aim of expanding audio/video distribution in China. The joint venture is now pending a license, which is expected to be granted in a few weeks' time.

'The video market is huge in China. One film title can be sold for $2.2m (RMB17.8m) at an auction. But piracy is also a serious problem. Every dollar collected by the pirate is a dollar lost for the film industry,' said Shi.

With the joint venture, Media Asia aims to make authentic video products more easily available to consumers in order to put up stronger competition against piracy.

As yet, no replacement for Shi's post as vice chairman at Media Asia has been announced.

Meanwhile, Shi will spend more time at Film Workshop, the production company founded by herself and husband, director Tsui Hark. She says that Xanda, an upcoming release by Film Workshop is a new Chinese-language film about extreme fighting.

The film, Xanda, is directed by Marco Mak and produced by Tsui Hark with a cast of two real-life champion fighters from China. Shi adds that the fighting is a new style martial arts form and is very realistic, unlike most action films which use artificial techniques such as wires or 3D imaging.

The $3m film is now at post-production stage, being undertaken jointly with Shenzhen Film Studio. It is expected to hit cinemas in Hong Kong and China in the next quarter of 2003.