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China Film Group Wakes to Quentin Lee’s ‘Morning, Paris!’

HONG KONG — China Film Company has boarded “Morning, Paris!,” a romantic comedy to be directed by Los Angeles-based Quentin Lee (“The People I’ve Slept With,” “White Frog”.)

CFC, part of the giant state-owned enterprise China Film Group, will co-finance and co-distribute, having acquired rights through Greater China, including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

The Chinese-language picture will be produced by Beijing-based Robert Wei and U.S.-producer Aaron Shershow, a veteran of Chinese-U.S. co-ventures including “Marco Polo,” “Outcast,” and “Man Of Tai Chi.”

The story, also written by Lee, is of a young Chinese fashion assistant who takes advantage of an unlikely proposal from a security guard to take her to the Paris Fashion Week.

Production on a budget of some $6 million is expected to take place in Guangzhou, China and Paris, France in late 2015.

The project is this week being pitched in Taiwan at the Golden Horse Film Festival’s project Market. Producers hope to raise the remaining 30% of the production cost either through pre-sales or commitment of an international sales agent. That would leave the production either as a wholly Chinese picture or a Chinese-French co-production.

China Film Group wants to work with the [Hollywood] studios on big international projects and they also want to find talent,” Wei told Variety. “Quentin is among the people they want to work with.”

Romantic comedies have become a staple of the Chinese box office in the past year, but does not expect the genre to be exhausted by the time “Morning, Paris!” hits screens in 2016. “Certainly this is in a fashionable genre, but there will always be room for well-made romantic comedies,” he said.

Lee was prominent at NAFF project market in Korea earlier this year with genre film “The English Major,” and is also writing action thriller “Electric Cherry” for Beijing based producer Charles Lei. But Wei indicated that “Morning, Paris!” will be Lee’s next directorial outing.

“We intend to spend the next year finalizing the finance and properly planning a shoot on two continents,” he said.

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