'Ong Bak' team ready for English 'City of Angels'

Asia-friendly XYZ Films to star Robin Shou

More Pusan news

BUSAN, South Korea -- Thai aces Prachya Pinkaew and Panna Rittikrai – the behind-the-camera duo responsible for "Ong Bak" -- will make their English-language debut with "City of Angels," an action thriller that is one of the highlights of Asian-friendly U.S. mini-studio XYZ Films.

Pinkaew will direct and Rittikrai handle the action choreography on the pic that is written by and will co-star Hong Kong based Robin Shou. Production is by Shawn Wallace.

XYZ is also handling world rights on Filipino film "Patient X," the recently completed horror pic by Yam Laranas, who also directed "The Echo" for Vertigo Entertainment as a remake of his own "Sigaw."

The company was formed 18 months ago by a trio of executives from different backgrounds -- Nate Bolotin, Nick Spicer and Aram Tertzakian – and started out with a one-year deal with Time Inc. that allowed its production operations to develop several projects based on magazine and literary properties and real life stories. These include one on infamous car-maker John DeLorean.

It recently brought on board 'Twitch' executive Todd Brown as a fourth partner.

Tertzakian is in Pusan this week in both a sales and production capacity.

XYZ sees itself as a well-capitalized outfit able to help indie players raise their game to the next level through development, production and distribution. The company also has a "significant" fund under its control.

"Almost everything we have is international. The way we work is that we are very filmmaker driven, then we go find the writer," said Bolotin. "There is a really cool crop of filmmakers coming out of Southeast Asia right now. We are already working with several of them and two of the biggest Korean companies around. This spans from film to TV projects, with top tier partners and talent."

XYZ's current sales slate includes handling North American rights on Indonesian actioner "Merantau," which was the opening film at the recent Chungmuro festival in Seoul, and "Faasuto Sukuwaddo" (First Squad) a Japanese animation that is sold in other territories by Hong Kong's Golden Network.

"Pusan this year is our first Asian market and very much a meet and greet for us," said Spicer.