Taiwanese pic world preems in Venice competish

Taiwanese epic “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq bale” has been acquired for U.K. distribution by Optimum Releasing.

The $25 million film, directed by Wei Te-sheng, will world premiere in competition at the 68th Venice Film Festival. The U.K. deal is the first European sale for the pic, previously known as “Seediq bale.”

Set in 1930s Formosa — now Taiwan — it’s based on the true story of the Wushe Incident, in which the aboriginal Seediq tribe, armed only with ancient guns and spears, rebelled against the Japanese occupation.

Produced by John Woo, Terence Chang and Jimmy Huang, the film has been in preparation for 10 years, and features a cast of 15,000 and a crew of 400 from Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.

It is co-produced by Wei and Huang’s ARS Film Prods. with Taiwanese studio Central Motion Picture Corp.

Wei previously directed “Cape No. 7,” the highest grossing Taiwanese film ever.

Fortissimo Films is handling international sales. Fortissimo’s Nicole Mackey negotiated the U.K. deal with Optimum’s head of acquisitions Alison Meese and StudioCanal’s acquisitions consultant Berenice Fugard.

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