Project: Salome
Scr: Tsai Ming-liang
Estimated budget: $4.7m (Eu3.4m)
Funds in place: $945,000 (Eu685,000)

One of the leading lights of Asian cinema, Malaysian-born film-maker Tsai Ming-liang has received a number of international awards including the Golden Lion in 1994 for Vive L'Amour and the Silver Bear for Wayward Cloud in 2004.

His most recent film, 2006's I Don't Want To Sleep Alone, screened in competition at Venice last year.

Tsai is a quintessential arthouse director, particularly fond of long, static shots, apocalyptic visions and lonely characters. Dialogue is sparse and the narrative rarely linear.

His ninth feature, Salome, is a mystery set in the Louvre in Paris. It is set to star long-time Tsai muse, Lee Kang-sheng as well as Maggie Cheung.

The film will also feature veteran French actor Jean-Pierre Leaud who inspired the project.

'I met Jean-Pierre in a Parisian cafe,' Tsai recalls. 'As I watched his old face, I felt the urge to capture it on film. I also wanted to capture Maggie Cheung's face.

Maggie's career is a reflection of today's increasingly self-examining film industry. I want to see what will happen when I add her face to the Louvre museum.'

Produced by France's JBA Production and Taiwan's Homegreen Films, the project participated in the Cannes Cinefondation's Atelier du Festival earlier this year.