Filming on Buffalo Boy, a Vietnamese coming of age drama gets underway next week after having secured a raft of European financing.

The film is the ultimate product of the growing system of project and co-production markets. Buffalo Boy was presented at Korea's PPP and New York's Independent Feature Project last year and Rotterdam's CineMart in January this year.

The film, written and directed by Ngien-Minh Nguyen-Vo, is the story of a young boy who is forced to adopt the tough life of a buffalo herder and returns to his village as a man. There he starts to uncover some of the previously hidden past and parallels with his dying father.

"We believe this is the first-full Vietnamese-European co-production that involves a genuine Vietnamese cash investment," said Olivier Dubois of Belgium's Novak Productions, who was previously associate producer of Le Mur and Vivre Au Paradis.

Novak is producing with France's 3B Productions and Vietnam's Giai Phong Films.

The $950,000 picture is financed by France's Flach Pyramide International, which will act as international sales agent, along with public sector cash from France's Fonds Sud and an avance sur recettes loan from the Communaute Francaise of Belgium.

Private cash comes from a pre-sale to Australian broadcaster SBS and specialist US distributor Global Film Institute. There is also a non-cash investment from PS Production Services.