US actress Amy Irving is to star in the first US-Korea co-production to shoot in Seoul with funding and support from the Seoul Film Commission (SFC).

Fire Circle Films announced the project at Pusan, in preparation for a round of co-production meetings they are planning for the market.

Based on a true story, the film will feature Irving 's character as the adopted mother of a Korean girl who travels to Korea to try to better understand her estranged daughter, and in the process falls in love with a local painter.

Powerhouse Korean actor Baek Yoon-shik (The President's Last Bang) is to star as the painter, while Lost star Yunjin Kim is to play the interpreter Irving 's character hires to guide her through the country.

To shoot for under $5m for about five weeks in Seoul and a week and a half in the US, the film benefits from the SFC's new mandate of providing locations and funding support to foreign films of up to 25% of budget (with a maximum cap of $100,000) and accommodations and travel expenses to filmmakers.

Award-winning documentary and independent feature film director Nora Jacobson (Letters To My Mother's Early Lovers, Delivered Vacant) is directing the film which is based on an essay by a childhood friend of hers.

A Tale Of Two Sisters and Duelist production designer Cho Keun-hyun is attached, and Hong-ik University professor Moon Bong-sun will be creating the artwork that the protagonist falls in love with even before she meets the artist.

The filmmakers expect most of the crew to be locals, although the cinematographer is likely not to be, as they want to shoot the country through foreign eyes.

Producer Jane Applegate of Fire Circle Films said: 'It's always a challenge to work outside of your home country but the SFC has been a fantastic liaison and facilitator.'

The SFC and Gyeonggi Film Commission recently held a tour, bringing in international producers and locations scouts to tour sites and experience Korean culture.