The multi-talented Andy Lau Tak-Wah may be best known in North America for Zhang Yimou's House of Flying Daggers, but in Asia and other parts of the world he's a superstar. He's made more than 100 films (Days of Being Wild, Fulltime Killer, Infernal Affairs) and his box office popularity ranks with Stephen Chow and Jackie Chan. He's also well-known for his award-winning singing career. While he's always had charm and looks, his dramatic films in the last decade have displayed growing talent and impressive range as an actor. His film production outfit, Focus Films, made six films in their Focus First Cuts program to showcase promising talent from across Asia, and now another program has been announced.

A series of four films will be made under the Focus Fight banner. As suggested by the title, the project is all about making action movies, but the intent is also to uncover "new and talented action movie stars and young directors," as explained at the web site. "The films will encompass a variety of genres and tastes, and allow young Asian directors to express their innovative visions." Another objective is to grow the movie-going audience "in terms of geography, age groups, industry, interests and socio-cultural and economic backgrounds." To help keep costs down, all projects will be shot in HD.

Focus established a fine track record with First Cuts, releasing a healthy variety of films that produced one genuine box office hit (Crazy Stone) and good critical reaction in general. They are actively recruiting directors, script writers and actors, with applications due by September 30. Andy Lau starts his "Wonderful World" concert tour on September 1. He recently shared in a press conference about the upcoming Brothers, to be directed by Derek Chiu; he will also be featured in Peter Chan's The Warlords, due in December, and Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon, due in 2008.

[ Via ScreenDaily ]