Korean entertainment company Vision Link Global is developing a $50m co-production entitled Melanie's Violin, based on Chinese author He Ning's novel of the same name, dubbed the 'Asian Schindler's List'.

The company, which is headed by former M&A consultant Lee In-hyung, aims to raise 60% of the film's budget through an entertainment fund.

Beijing-based Great Wall International Communication Co, which is headed by Huang Yuguang and mostly produces TV series and commercials, has signed on to fund 40% of the budget. The company will also provide location support for the film, which is to be shot at the Shanghai Film Studios.

Melanie's Violin is the story is of a world-renowned Jewish violinist who flees from the Nazis to Shanghai where he takes on a young female student. Together, the teacher and student write music that inspires the Chinese people in troubled times with hope and belief in freedom.

Producer Shin Woo-sung (The Doll Master) says: 'We're talking with major Hollywood studios that can bring in a top director and A-list cast and expect to have a deal to announce by early February'. The company is aiming to release the project worldwide in October 2008.

Composer Ji Bark, whose credits include Kim Ki-duk's Samaritan Girl and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring, will oversee the music on Melanie's Violin.