Derek Yee Tung-sing is one of those rare directors who turn out films that not only pull in the crowds at the box office, but also make an impression with the critics. His 1993 melodrama, C'est La Vie, Mon Cherie, was one of the top-grossing films that year at the box office, and also swept the board at the Hong Kong Film Awards, winning best picture, best director and another four prizes. Subsequent films, including Full Throttle, with Andy Lau Tak-wah, and Viva Erotica, with Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing and Shu Qi, were also commercial and critical hits. But from the end of the 1990s until quite recently, Yee took a long break from directing to focus on producing, most recently with Filmko Pictures. He's now parted company with Filmko and returned to the director's chair only last year, to make the romantic drama Lost In Time, starring Cecilia Cheung Pak-chi and Lau Ching Wan. Both critics and audiences seemed to agree that the film, about a woman trying to piece her life back together again after her husband is killed in an accident, proved Yee hadn't lost his touch. Apart from being a big hit at the local box office last November, the film is also tipped as a contender at this year's Hong Kong Film Awards. As well, it's been selected to screen in the Panorama section of the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival. However, Yee is unlikely to have time to attend Berlin, because he's already started shooting his next film, One Nite In Mongkok, with backing from Hong Kong studio Universe Entertainment. Described as an action drama (with the emphasis on drama rather than action), the film tells the story of a mainland immigrant, played by Daniel Wu, who comes to Hong Kong to search for his missing wife. Down on his luck, he finds a job through a shady character he meets in Mongkok, but the man tricks him and frames him for a murder. Cheung, who was highly praised for her tear-jerking performance in Lost In Time, stars as a prostitute who befriends Wu's character. Alex Fong Chung-sun and Sam Lee Chan-sam are also in the cast. The film will be gritty and atmospheric, according to Universe chief operating officer Alvin Lam, particularly because it's set on the crowded and neon-drenched streets of Mongkok. 'It's a great location, but also one of the most difficult places to shoot in Hong Kong,' says Lam. 'There's a couple of scenes that show the main characters trying to escape the police by moving through the crowd. We'll have to shoot them late at night with a couple of hundred extras and use lighting to make it look like it's a different time of day.' The Hong Kong-China co-production is one of several productions from high-profile directors that Universe - encouraged by the Cepa agreement and the gradual opening of the mainland film market - is lining up this year. The company has also signed up the Pang Brothers to direct one movie each. And, in an astute marketing gimmick that's more than likely to find its target, it has also secured the services of another pair of 'twins', Charlene Choi Cheuk-yin and Gillian Chung Yan-tung. One will star in each film. Choi will appear in the film Danny Pang will direct, Leave Me Alone, which will also star Ekin Cheng Yee-kin. To be produced by Lawrence Cheng Tan-shui (who also produced the Pang Brother's horror hit The Eye), the film is an action comedy - the first time that Danny Pang has tried his hand at the genre. Meanwhile, Chung will star in Oxide Pang's thriller, Abnormal Beauty, with Joey Yung Tso-yi in a supporting role. A male lead will also be cast, but the intention is that Chung will be the major star - much as Angelica Lee Sin-je was in The Eye. Both films are tentatively due to start shooting in April. Universe is also preparing a second action picture from Benny Chan Muk-sing, who last year directed Heroic Duo for the studio. At Chan's suggestion, the script of the film is being written by Ivy Ho, whose recent credits include Ann Hui On-wah dramas Goddess Of Mercy and July Rhapsody, but who also has action credits under her belt, including Jackie Chan vehicles The Accidental Spy and Gorgeous. Called Divergence, the film will star Cheng, Aaron Kwok Fu-sing and Nicholas Tse Ting-fung, if all three can synchronise their schedules, and is expected to start shooting in July. Meanwhile, Derek Yee is not the only Hong Kong director to have a film screening at the Berlin festival. Both the second and third installments of Andrew Lau Wai-keung and Alan Mak Siu-fai's Infernal Affairs trilogy have been selected to screen in the Forum section of the festival, along with Hui's Goddess Of Mercy and Johnnie To Kei-fung's Running On Karma.