New Zealand, Korea are 'Soul Mates'


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BUSAN, South Korea -- Korea and New Zealand's co-production treaty has borne its first fruit, with Scott Reynolds' "Soul Mates" to become the initial film made under the new pact.

New Zealand ambassador to Seoul Jane Coombs hosted a celebratory reception Saturday night to introduce director Reynolds ("When Strangers Appear") and his Korean lead, actress Han Chae-young ("Love Now").

The countries signed the treaty last month, marking the second such formal and comprehensive film agreement for South Korea; the first was signed with France in October 2006.

New Zealand is a party to nine such pacts, including with France, Germany, the U.K. and Canada.

With a $5.4 million budget and scripted by Nick Ward ("Stickmen"), "Soul Mates" is a horror film about eternal love and vengeful ghosts, a themefamiliar to fans of Korean horror.

New Zealand production house Touchdown Eyeworks is teaming with South Korea's Film Alchemy for the project, which is scheduled to shoot in January and targeted for a summer release.

"Lord of the Rings" special effects supervisor Richard Taylor and his company, Weta Workshop, will handle visual effects.