Hong Kong’s Salon Films has unveiled the first three micro movies to receive funding through its Asia First Cuts initiative, which was launched at Filmart last year.

Salon has collaborated with Japanese talent agency Yoshimoto Kogyo, Hong Kong production outfit Beautiful Productions and Hong Kong Baptist University on the first round of projects.

Hong Kong filmmaker Cheung King-wai is directing short drama The Hill Of Ilha Verde for Asia First Cuts. Set in Macau, the film is about the reunion of a broken family and the process of self-development. Macau Sinmeng Association and Social Entertainment Enterprise Co are also investing in the film.

Cheung’s credits include award-winning documentaries KJ: Music And Life and One Nation, Two Cities.

Japanese filmmaker Kei Horie is directing Blue Bird, a surreal drama about a gunman in a Chinese restaurant, for Asia Short Cuts. Filmed in Hong Kong, the project is a co-production between Salon and Yoshimoto Kogyo. The third short is Yanping’s Choice, directed by Su Ke, who is a student at Hong Kong Baptist University.

The initiative was founded with the aim of “nurturing a new wave of young, vibrant and capable creative talent in Asia, generating a new creative pulse and rejuvenating the whole pan-Asian content industry”.

Salon also presented clips from Kelvin Sng’s feature Taxi! Taxi!, backed by SIMF Management, Galaxy Entertainment, RAM Entertainment, amongst other partners. Released in Singapore early this year, the Singapore-set social comedy is inspired by famed blogger Dr Cai Mingjie’s accounts of his life as a taxi driver after losing his job as a microbiology scientist.

SIMF Management is a Singapore-based company established by Salon Films to manage the Integrated Media Fund (IMF), in partnership with the Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA).