'Ah Sou' stars Liu, Tsang, Wong

HONG KONG — Helmer Wong Ching-Po (“Jiang Hu”) will begin shooting $3 million triad drama “Ah Sou” next month.

Announcement was made at Hong Kong film and TV market Filmart on Tuesday.

Pic, starring Taiwanese tyro Annie Liu, Eric Tsang (“Infernal Affairs”) and Anthony Wong (“Golden Chicken II”), is a co-production between Filmko and Taiwan’s Deepjoy Picture Corp. Lawrence Cheng will produce.

Liu will play a young woman who becomes a triad boss.

Wong and Cheng interviewed more than 1,000 women before finding Liu, who doesn’t have any acting experience. She will be signed by Filmko Artiste Management and learn the trade with the support of the strong cast that also includes Liu Ye and Simon Yam.

“We really want to find some new talent,” said Filmko distribution veep Dominic Yip. Filmko also hopes to sign some of the women who didn’t make the cut for this film.

Other pics on the 4-year-old production company‘s slate include a $2.6 million horror film that should be finished by the end of the year. Final decision has yet to be made, but it may be a follow-up to last year’s “Koma,” with Karena Lam and Angelica Lee reprising their roles, Yip said.

The third film, expected to be a love story with a $2 million budget, is still in early planning stages, Yip said.

Filmko is looking to diversify its business with TV dramas and a distribution arm.

Company hoped to begin distributing international films in Hong Kong and China by mid-year, Yip said.

In June or July, Filmko will begin shooting two TV series in China.

Budgets are set at $1.3 million for each 20-episode series. The dramas haven’t been presold.

One will be a period drama while the other centers around the customs department in China.

– Vicki Rothrock

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