Jason Piette andMichael Cowan's Spice Factory has joined forces with South Africa's Film Afrikato co-produce films with South Africa, which is seen in the UK as a burgeoningco-production partner.

The deal comes asthe UK and South Africa are expected to forge an official co-production treaty.Spice Factory, a highly active co-producer and co-founder of UK tax fundMovision, said that the joint venture will be able to develop projects withover 50% of its funds in place via UK and South African equity and soft funds.

"South Africa israpidly becoming the brightest emerging star on the film horizon," said Cowanand Piette. "Not only is South Africa gearing up its ability to contributeequity and soft funds, it is also a very exciting and dynamic place to makefilms. It's also particularly advantageous as we will be able to use ourexperience with tax and equity funds in the UK to develop new film funds inSA.'

Film Afrika wasfounded by director-producer David Wicht and has 30 credits in post-apartheidSouth Africa. Recent films include John Boorman's Country Of My Skull,Slipstream and Promised Land.

Wicht said therelationship "means we have now a preferred UK partner we can call on withouthaving to reinvent the wheel each time."