Star Taiwanese singer-actress Rene Liu is pitching her feature film directing debut at the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (March 14-16). With another superstar, Sylvia Chang, on board as producer, the project, “Lieutenant Yi,” is one of the standouts of HAF.
Set in late 1980s Taiwan, “Yi” is the story of a well-known Taiwanese singer who seeks to transform herself as the new millennium approaches, but arrives at unexpected outcomes. Liu says the fictional story is based on her family’s real experiences.
“My grandmother is getting old, losing her memories. This made me think, I have to do something to record this era of vicissitudes and virtues,” says Liu.
A singer-songwriter of Mandopop hits, Liu is a major star in the Chinese-speaking region. She also has a glittering film career, having starred in Chen Kuo-fu’s 1998 Cannes entry “The Personals,” Feng Xiaogang’s “A World Without Thieves” and the Fruit Chan-produced romantic drama “Hot Summer Days.”
Liu and Chang worked together previously on several movies, including the Chang-directed 2004 ensemble drama “20 : 30 : 40″ and Chang’s comedy drama “Run Papa Run.” Liu also starred in and co-wrote the screenplay with Chang for Jingle Ma’s “Happy Birthday.” Until 2007, Liu was also managed by Red on Red, the Hong Kong-based production and talent company co-founded by Chang.
The project has secured US$1 million and at HAF is now seeking the balance of its US$2 million budget.