Japan's Hexagon Pictures, a distributor that has recently entered production and international sales, unveiled its new line-up of five market premieres at a presentation held during the first day of the TIFFCOM market (Oct 22-24).

The slate includes animated feature Chocolate Underground, based on Alex Shearer's children's novel Bootleg, which is scheduled for local release in Feb 2009. The other four titles are:

* Opera drama Pride (Jan 2009) which stars Death Note actress Hikari Mitsushima and is directed by Death Note director Shusuke Kaneko.

* Female comedy Kanna's Big Success (Jan 2009) starring model-actress Yu Yamada and based on Yumiko Suzuki's manga which also spawned Korean hit 200 Pounds Beauty.

* Amy Mori's romantic drama Days With You starring Erika Toda (L: Change The World) and Kazuki Kato.

* High-Kick Girl, starring 17-year-old newcomer Rina Takeda as a deadly high school-aged karate black belt who gets caught up in a corrupt fight syndicate.

Hexagon is handling world sales for all titles with Hong Kong's Golden Network taking on Asian sales of Chocolate Underground.

The presentation ended with real life tournament winner Takeda beating up enemies including High-Kick Girl director Fuyuhiko Nishi. Nishi formerly served as an action director on films and as a buyer of Asian action titles such as Ong Bak and Shaolin Soccer for Gaga.

Nishi explained his desire to put Japan on the map with its own martial arts action exports by depicting true karate forms. The last films in the genre to sell widely overseas were Sonny Chiba titles in the 1970s.

Established in 2004, Hexagon began solely as a buyer and distributor of foreign films such as Nikita Mikhalkov's Oscar-nominated 12, award-winning Canadian drama Away From Her and the upcoming release of Madonna's Filth And Wisdom, before moving into production.

Hexagon president Yoichi Sakai explained that while the company develops projects and joins production consortiums, financing and production is handled by partner companies.

Digital Hollywood produced Kanna's Big Success, Days With You and High-Kick Girl; Pride was produced by Excellent Films (Nana). The average budget for the titles was stated as $2m.