Hot up-and-coming Chinese director Ning Hao has established a film production and artist management company, Stoneman Films.

Daniel Yu, former COO of Andy Lau's Focus Films and producer of Ning's sleeper hit Crazy Stone, will serve as Ning's producer, overseeing his filmmaking projects. The young director is currently preparing a contemporary road movie Western Sunshine, set in the west of China, which combines action and black comedy elements.

In addition to Western Sunshine, Stoneman is also developing asci-fi picture Seven Dreams, about an ordinary Chinese man who accidentally travels in time to save the planet from destruction, and an untitled monster movie which is set in China.

The three projects are at script stage but Ning is likely to start with Western Sunshine, in which he intends to explore a new method of story-telling and focus more on landscapes, compared to his previous two comedies, Crazy Stone and the upcoming Crazy Racers.

Stoneman has also signed four actors to kickstart its artist management business. They are Ba Duo, Wang Shuangbao (Blind Shaft), Yue Xiaojun (Crazy Stone) and Taiwanese actor Rong Xiang, who have all performed in Ning's previous films.

The common feature of these artists is that they don't have classically good looks but have portrayed unique characters in Ning's films that have impressed Chinese audiences.

'The Chinese audience cares more about an actor's character and his performance skills and our artists have both the above qualities,' Yu said. Stoneman's artist management department will be headed by Pan Xiao.