The Chinese-language production sectors, in both Hong Kong and Beijing, were hit badly this year by a slow-down in mainland China's censorship process in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics. As a result, there will not be a huge amount of new Chinese product at this year's AFM.
Indeed, one of the hottest new titles on offer from a Hong Kong-based sales company is actually a Japanese title - Max Mannix's $12m thriller Rain Fall, produced by Japan's Satoru Iseki and starring Kippei Shiina and Gary Oldman. The film is being sold by start-up outfit Distribution Workshop, established by Infernal Affairs producer Nansun Shi and Jeffrey Chan. Virginia Leung is heading sales at the company, which is also selling mainland Chinese sleeper hit Almost Perfect.
Golden Network Asia also handles product from around the region and has an eclectic slate including Singaporean animation Sing To The Dawn and Korean action romance Kiss Me, Kill Me.
Despite the slowdown, Hong Kong does have some new action titles on offer: Emperor Motion Pictures (EMP) is selling action drama Shinjuku Incident, starring Jackie Chan and Ken Watanabe, which is in post-production, and Dante Lam's action thriller Beast Stalker, set to star Nicholas Tse and Nick Cheung. Media Asia has an untitled action thriller from Johnnie To, which is set to star Lau Ching Wan.
Buyers will also be able to get a closer look at action titles that were in the early stages of production at Cannes, including EMP's Connected directed by Benny Chan, Mandarin Films' kung-fu biopic Ip Man and Universe Films Distribution's The Storm Warriors starring Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng.
Hong Kong producers focus on action and thrillers for international consumption, but romances with strong concepts and cast can travel. Mei Ah recently sold Butterfly Lovers, starring Charlene Choi, to Germany and Australia, while Media Asia is selling Andrew Lau's romantic comedy Looking For A Star, with Andy Lau and Shu Qi. Edko Films has high hopes for Ivy Ho's Claustrophobia, about a doomed office romance.
One of the few Beijing-based sellers at the market, Huayi Brothers, is selling Cao Baoping's drama The Equation Of Love And Death, which scooped the new directors' award at San Sebastian, and Feng Xiaogang's upcoming romantic comedy If You Are My Match.
In Taiwan, the production sector is undergoing a mini-renaissance with films such as smash hit Cape No 7, about a small-town band, and Cannes Un Certain Regard title Parking - both of which are being sold by Rita Chuang's Good Films Workshop.
Taiwanese companies are also handling more mainland films. Three Dots Entertainment is selling Ning Jingwu's coming-of-age story Lala's Gun, while CMC Entertainment has Chen Kaige's pan-China co-production Mei Lanfang, starring Zhang Ziyi and Leon Lai.