The Weinstein Company's vice president, Asian acquisitions and co-production Bey Logan, explained the company's criteria for selecting projects for its $285m Asian Film Fund, at Pusan's Asian Film Funds Forum over the weekend(Oct 3-5).

Launched just over one year ago, the fund aims to back around 30 Asian-themed films over the next six years.

'Funds by nature have a narrow focus - it all comes down to the main priority which is how to make a return for investors,' said Logan. But he went on to explain that the company's definition of Asian-themed is quite broad.

The fund has five criteria or rough guidelines for the projects it examines and eventually selects:

*They must be directed by somebody born in Asia (even if they're not living in Asia now).

*Or starring somebody born in Asia.

*Or be a remake of an Asian film.

*Or be set in Asia although not necessarily shot in Asia.

*Or be set elsewhere but filmed within Asia.

Logan added that projects don't stand a better chance if they have all five of these elements rather than just one. The fund will co-invest with other financiers, as in the case of action adventure The Forbidden Kingdom, and makes minimum investments of around $3m although it would also consider a slate with a combined value of $10m. The fund is focused on East Asia and is not looking for Indian projects.

In addition to box office hit The Forbidden Kingdom, starring Jet Li and Jackie Chan, the fund has also been involved in the financing of Wong Kar-wai's My Blueberry Nights and Mikael Hafstrom's Shanghai which recently wrapped in Thailand.

Next up is a contemporary remake of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai which is likely to be shot in Thailand next year. Some other projects have been dropped or delayed such as Thai martial arts actioner Ong Bak 2, which TWC has withdrawn from

Logan observed that the fund's first three productions were all English-language but said this was not intentional and that the fund would also look at Asian-language projects.

'But if it's Asian-language, it probably needs to be a stylised action film that offers something that you can't find in English-language movies,' Logan said. 'We find that genres like comedy, action and romance don't travel because Hollywood and other local production industries produce their own. But the rest of the world doesn't do stylised action.'

One of the biggest problem the fund faces is that it doesn't include development money and a lot of material that comes to the fund is under-developed. 'We're not looking for pitches or first draft scripts'.

The presentation was one of four held by Pusan's Asian Film Market as part of its Asian Film Funds Forum initiative. The other presentations held on Oct 4-5 include Hong Kong-based Irresistible Films, Seoul-based ACTI and Singapore-based RGM Entertainment (see separate stories).