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Six light up ‘Smile,’ coming-of-age drama

Kramer-penned,-helmed project to begin lensing Jan. 24

Sean Astin, Beau Bridges, Mika Boorem, Linda Hamilton, Cheri Oteri and Erik von Detten have come on board “Smile,” a coming-of-age drama set in the United States and China.

Project, written and directed by Jeff Kramer, is set to begin lensing Saturday in Los Angeles, followed by principle photography in Shanghai and Jingxi in the southern region of China.

The U.S.-based actors will be joined by Chinese/American thesps Yi Ding and Song Jia. Story revolves around the relationship between an American teen, portrayed by Boorem, who travels to China as part of a charitable org, and a Chinese counterpart who receives surgery to correct a facial deformity.

Kip and Kern Konwiser, Emmy-winning producers of “Miss Evers’ Boys,” are producing through their Konwiser Bros. shingle with financing arranged by exec producer Martin L. O’Neal through his Dark Forest Films. Jamie Beardsley is co-producing.

CTV Media, in association with Golden Ocean, will host the production and release the film in China.

“The opportunity to work within what is emerging as the next big world market, both in terms of sheer numbers and ageless culture, is exciting and challenging,” said Kip Konwiser.

The Konwisers also produced Paramount Classics’ “Focus” and Lions Gate’s “The Wash.”

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