Next time you feel like you're working too hard or have a punishing schedule, spare a thought for director Johnnie To Kei-fung. At the more artistically driven end of the Hong Kong film industry, directors such as Wong Kar-wai can spend four years making a single film. But To, who is a proven hit maker and pursued by every film company in town, juggles two or three films at the same time. This revered filmmaker is so busy he was unable to collect the best director prize bestowed on him at the recent Hong Kong Film Awards for PTU or to jump on stage when another of his films, Running on Karma, picked up prizes for best film, best actor and best script. Of course, working on more than one film at the same time is common practice in Hong Kong and unavoidable due to the demands of release windows and the crowded schedules of the major stars. But not every film To directs is made this way. Some of his more personal projects, such as PTU, are filmed between commercial movies and can take months or even years to complete. But mainstream films need big stars and are usually released during the peak holiday seasons - Christmas, the Lunar New Year and summer. Now that the mercury is starting to rise, the pressure is on to get the major summer movies in the can. To's next movie - the detective thriller Breaking News - has already wrapped but will probably open slightly later than initially expected in July. Starring Richie Jen, Kelly Chen Wai-lam and Nick Cheung Ka-fai, the film revolves around a female cop who takes a live television crew into a besieged building. Media Asia, the company behind the Infernal Affairs trilogy, is financing the film. Also opening this summer, most likely in July, is Throw Down, which To is directing for China Star Entertainment. Previously known by the translation of its Chinese name, Judo Dragon Tiger Chart, the film is about a former judo champion turned pub manager who gets shaken out of an alcoholic stupor when a few would-be opponents turn up at the door. The pub is soon transformed into an arena for judo fanatics to strut their stuff and the manager has to come to terms with why he quit the sport in the first place. As with Running on Karma, Throw Down is likely to give the audience something to chew on in addition to the usual cocktail of action and comedy - in this case ruminations on fate and midlife crises. The film also features a star-studded ensemble including Tony Leung Kar-fai, Jordan Chan Siu-chun, Louis Koo Tin-lok, Aaron Kwok Fu-sing and Cherrie Ying Choi-yi. To is also working on a second movie for Media Asia tentatively scheduled to open around the National Day holiday in October. The film has been described as an action romance in which a gentleman robber and a female cat burglar try to outwit each other, only to find their old flame has been rekindled. Andy Lau Tak-wah and Sammi Cheng Sau-man are set to star. While those three films are keeping To busy in the first half of the year, he also is planning another two projects to shoot in the second half. These include a story about a pickpocket for Universe Entertainment and a gangster film for China Star. The Universe project, which has the working title A Thief, is set to star Simon Yam Tat-wah and Kelly Lin Hsi-lei, who are both To regulars. Yam has starred in several To movies, including The Mission and PTU, while Lin starred in To's Fulltime Killer and Running Out of Time 2. The other winners at the Hong Kong Film Awards also have packed schedules, although best supporting actor Tony Leung Kar-fai - who is shooting The Twins Effect II on the mainland - was the only actor who couldn't make it to the podium. Best actor Andy Lau is about to start work on To's movie and mainland director Feng Xiaogang's A World Without Thieves (working title), which starts shooting this month in Gansu province. Best actress Cecilia Cheung Pak-chi is shooting Chen Kaige's The Promise at the Beijing Film Studio and best supporting actress Josie Ho Chiu-yee is starring in the lesbian love story Butterfly. Not surprisingly, Pang Ho-cheung, who won the best new director prize at the awards for his second film, Men Suddenly in Black, is also much in demand. Pang wrote the novel on which To's Fulltime Killer was based and made his directing debut with You Shoot, I Shoot in 2001. His next project is likely to be Waiting for Nike, a dark comedy set in China that has already attracted interest from overseas film companies. Pang has written the script about a laid-off factory worker who tries to make a fortune by claiming a lost shipment of Nike trainers is about to turn up on the beach near his home town.