Singapore 's MediaCorp Raintree Pictures and Scorpio East Pictures are collaborating with Malaysia 's Double Vision in Ah Long Ltd, the first co-production between the neighbouring countries in recent years.

Jack Neo is directing the $779,000 (S$1.2m) production which is currently being filmed around the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. The dark comedy features top Singapore actress Fann Wong in a challenging role of a 'big sister' with martial arts skills who revolutionises the illegal money lending business in the competitive triad world.

Opposite her is Singapore funnyman Mark Lee who plays an effeminate dance teacher. Malaysia 's top model Daniel Tan and popular DJs Jack Lim and KK Wong co-star.

The dark comedy is blended with action sequences, a first for Neo who has a reputation for satirical comedies such as the I Not Stupid franchise and Just Follow Law (which also stars Wong and is Singapore 's top grossing film in the first quarter).

Martial arts director is Ma Yuk Sing from Hong Kong, a protege of Tony Ching Siu-tung. Veteran TV producer Sampson Yuen, also from Hong Kong, oversees the production on the set.

'Given their similar culture, Malaysia and Singapore should be seen as one market and a co-production is long overdue. The enormous growth in the box office in the past few years has made Malaysia an even more attractive market,' says Raintree's managing director Daniel Yun who is in Kuala Lumpur for today's press conference.

Yun is executive producing alongside John Ho of Scorpio East and Lim Beng Teck of Double Vision.

The picture marks Double Vision's first foray into feature films. As the production arm of the Vision New Media group, the company produces over 1,400 hours of TV programming a year in various languages and genres for the regional market.

A day-and-date release in the fourth quarter is expected for Malaysia and Singapore.

Separately, the prolific Neo will commence filming on I Not Stupid's China installment this August for Raintree.