The benefits of shooting inBelgium, South Africa and China were outlined to international producers at afilm financing conference hosted by Screen International in London last week.

The main reason to co-produce with China, said Thomas Leongof International Pacific Artists, is access to Chinese investment.

'Although China is a communist country, it iscurrently quite rich,' he explained. 'Corporate investors alwaysinvest in equity, always in cash.'

Providing between a third to one half of the budget, 'theyjust write cheques,' said Leong.

Leong advised international producers to team up with a HongKong company in order to co-produce with a mainland Chinese partner, as theHong Kong industry has experience of working with both the international and mainlandmarkets. 'Practically, it makes life easier, faster and moreefficient,' said Leong.

Meanwhile, Marc Noyons of Belgian production and financingoutfit Marmont Film Financing said the country's new tax regulationswould be most suited to international co-producers looking to raise 20% oftheir budget from Belgium.

In exchange, he explained, Belgium offers a high level ofcreative talent in the guise of music, design, sound, and special effects andpost- production facilities. In addition, said Noyons, the territory boastsdiverse locations, competitive prices and experienced crew members.

In turn, Eddie Mbalo, the head of the state-backed SouthAfrican Film and Video Foundation, pointed out that South Africa was arelatively new democracy.

While the country has recently become a popular location forinternational film-making, the local industry would benefit hugely from aUK-South African co-production treaty, he added.