BEIJING, June 25 -- Focus Films, the production company started by Hong Kong mega-star Andy Lau, is kicking into high gear with a spate of activities, from the myriad of announcements concerning its Focus First Cuts projects to the shooting of the feature "All About Love", also starring Lau.
Launched earlier this year in March during the Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART), the Focus First Cuts initiative aims to produce six features, all shot in High-Definition (HD) format. The directors chosen come from Chinese-speaking regions including Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Singapore and Malaysia.
Recently announced is the selection of acclaimed director Ning Hao as the representative from mainland China. His project with Focus First Cuts, titled "Crazy Stone", revolves around three groups of people, all of whom are linked to a prized diamond. The director's first feature, "Incense", won the Grand Prize at both the Tokyo Filmex 2003 and the 28th Hong Kong International Film Festival's Asian DV Competition. His second, "Mongolian Pingpong", premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2005 and was also shot on HD.
Meanwhile, a press event was held on the 17th of June in Taipei to announce the shooting commencement of the first Focus First Cuts feature, "The Shoe Fairy" by Robin Lee. Starring popular Taiwanese singer/actress Vivian Hsu and Duncan ("Formula 17"), the film is a romantic drama with a fairy tale-like setting. Productions of the other five projects, including Hong Kong features "I'll Call U" by Lam Tze Chung and "PG (Parental Guidance)" by Wong Ching Po and Lee Kung Lok, are slated to start filming in subsequent months.
Focus First Cuts is taking advantage of its pan-Asian collaborations by working with talents and companies from across the region. Malaysian director Ho Yuhang's feature, "Rain Dogs", will have its post-production completed in Taiwan, with famed sound designer Tu Duu Chih ("2046", "Goodbye, South, Goodbye") signing on for the project. In addition, negotiations are underway to bring in experienced Hong Kong actors to star in the film.
Also underway is the shooting of Andy Lau's newest starring vehicle, "All About Love". Produced by Focus Films and directed by industry veteran Daniel Yu, the film is a tale of love and loss between a guilt-ridden paramedic (Lau), a woman he saved after an accident (Charlie Yeung) and a husband who had vanished (also played by Lau). Besides Lau's dual role, the cast also includes Charlene Choi, Anthony Wong Chau-Sun and newcomer Amber from mainland China. The film is scheduled be released simultaneously in China, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia on October 13, 2005.