Manila-based ImagineAsia is the Asian studio chosen to do the production work for HEAVY METAL F.A.K.K. 2, the $15-million sequel to 1981's HEAVY METAL. The film is being co-produced by Canada's Cine-Groupe and Germany's Helkon Media for a U.S. Columbia TriStar release during the second half of 1999. The film is directed by Michael Coldeway, and stars Julie Strain and Billy Idol. This marks the feature debut of ImagineAsia, as well as one of the few times an Asian animation facility has been called upon to fully animate a feature film for a major U.S. studio. "We are very excited by the opportunity to work on HEAVY METAL F.A.K.K. 2," says ImagineAsia chairman Jeffrey Harrison, "which illustrates not only the technical agility of our studio, but proves that world-class animation can come from a low-cost labor market like the Philippines." ImagineAsia was founded in 1997 by Harrison and partners Michael Collinson and Maria Passion. The studio specializes in digital 3D animation and 2D digital ink and paint, in addition to having developed their own motion capture technology. After F.A.K.K. 2, the studio will embark on producing its own 26-episode, 3D-animated series, THE QUEST: TALES FROM THE RAMAYANA.