Sports marketing firm Hyundai Sports International (HSI) has signalled its entry into the Korean film industry with G.T., a feature about racecar driving that will be targeted heavily at the international market.

Short for "Grand Touring", G.T. features a high budget by local standards at $4.4m and is described as "a human drama about friendship, love and intrigue among young racecar drivers."

HSI will join Nobs Culture as co-producer of the film and will also act as main investor.

A spokesman for HSI stated, "This project appealed to us most for its potential in the international market, given the explosive popularity of car racing, and by the strong characterisation and drama contained in the screenplay."

The firm has also confirmed its intention to "keep up a steady level of activity in film production and/or investment in the future."

Hyundai Sports International was spun off of its parent company Hyundai Corporation in January 2002, and is the exclusive marketing representative of the International Judo Federation.

It is 25% owned by Japanese advertising firm Hakuhodo, Inc., which will assist the company in positioning G.T. in Japan - by far the most important international market for Korean films.

HSI joins a string of Korean companies in other fields who have announced their entry into the film industry this year, including energy conglomerate Daesung Group and online gaming company Sius.

G.T. will rank as the first-ever Korean film to centre around car racing. Currently in the casting stages, it is scheduled to start shooting in March 2004.