EXCLUSIVE: Film producer Cybill Lui (After the Dark) has launched L.A.-based production co. Anova Pictures and struck a strategic partnership with visual effects house Mr. X. The Toronto and NY-based digital studio’s recent projects include Pacific Rim, TRON: Legacy, and upcoming pics RoboCop and Pompeii. As part of their pact Mr. X will provide digital effects work on Anova projects while Hong Kong-born Lui advises on the VFX company’s expansion into L.A.-based and global features and high-concept television. “With our push to emerge on a more global filmmaking landscape, we are truly excited about this strategic partnership with Cybill and Anova Pictures. We’ve been lucky enough to grow our business during a tough time in the industry, so we’re looking to capitalize on the success we’ve had and keep building on a global scale,” said Mr. X President Dennis Berardi. Anova’s slate will focus on $5M-$40M features and television projects for the domestic and international markets including China, with an eye towards established and emerging visionary filmmakers. Lui, an ex-investment banker and finance exec, tapped American Entertainment Investor’s Joseph N. Cohen, veteran studio marketing exec Andrew Fogelson (Polygram/UA/WB/Columbia Pictures), and Beijing-based media investment advisor Paul Conway to sit on Anova’s board of directors. Anova’s development slate already includes features The Rut, formerly to be helmed by Karyn Kusama, The Bends, and China-oriented projects Big Sister, A Good Bet, and Quake. Lui’s new shingle follows her departure from former label An Olive Branch Productions (Casino Jack), with which she produced February sci-fier After the Dark (AKA The Philosophers). She will continue to develop projects including An Olive Branch’s When Gravity Fails and The Girl Who Invented Kissing, as well as a TV series from Virginia Cassavetes.