Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia - the Asian local production arm of Sony Pictures Entertainment - has announced four new films which it will finance in 2001.
The Hong Kong-based company, headed by managing director Barbara Robinson, has enjoyed enormous success since it was launched in early 1999 with Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, two from Zhang Yimou - Not One Less and The Road Home and Tsui Hark's Time And Tide.
The four new films are:
* Big Shot's Funeral starring Donald Sutherland, Paul Mazursky, Ge You (To Live) and Rosamund Kwan (Once Upon A Time In China) and directed by Feng Xiaogang. Starting principal photography this month in Beijing, the film is a comedy about a film director (Sutherland) in China to make an epic about the last emperor of the Qing dynasty who befriends a down-on-his-luck Chinese cameraman. China's Huayi Brothers Film Company and Beijing Film Studio are co-producing.
* Double Vision starring Tony Leung Ka Fai and David Morse and directed by Chen Kuo-Fu. Double Vision is a suspense mystery thriller from Chen, the director of The Personals, which started principal photography in early April in Taiwan. Leung plays a Taiwan police detective and Morse an FBI expert tracking a serial killer.
* An Untitled Corey Yuen Project. Yuen, director of many of Jet Li's Chinese films and choreographer on US pictures such as X-Men and Romeo Must Die, will direct this thriller which will showcase Yuen's acrobatic choreography.
* Heroes Of Heaven And Earth starring Jiang Wen and Kiichi Nakai and directed by He Ping (Red Firecracker, Green Firecracker) is an adventure epic to be photographed by Zhao Fei whose credits include Raise The Red Lantern and Woody Allen's Sweet And Lowdown and The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion.