Leading Chinese auteur Wang Xiaoshuai has completed a marathon three-month shoot for “Di Jiu Tian Chang.” The film is the first installment in what Wang calls his Homeland Trilogy, examining changing times and families in modern China.
Working from a script co-written with “Under the Hawthorn Tree” screenwriter Ah Mei, the first part spans a 40-year period, starting with the market-oriented economic reforms of the 1980s. The story follows the troubles that afflict and force apart two families that had previously been close.
Wang says he is aiming to mount the trilogy on a far larger visual and narrative scale than his previous “Shanghai Dreams” or “Beijing Bicycle.” The shoot took in multiple cities from the north to the south of China.
Production is by Liu Xuan through Beijing-based Dongchun Films, with finance from Hehe Pictures and Fengshanjian. Discussions with international sales companies are ongoing.
The cast includes veteran actor Wang Jingchun (“11 Flowers,” “Black Coal, Thin Ice”), Yong Mei (“The Assassin”), Qi Xi (“Mystery”), and rising actors Du Jiang (“The Wasted Times”) and Wang Yuan of Chinese boy band TFboys.
Wang Xiaoshuai most recently directed “Red Amnesia,” which played in competition at Venice in 2014. He recently produced “Old Beast” by first-time director Zhou Zhiyang. That film played at the recent Tokyo festival and picked up multiple prizes at the Golden Horse Film Awards.