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Berlinale: Jia Zhangke, MK2 Reteam for ‘Money & Love’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Chinese auteur Jia Zhangke, whose latest movie, “Mountains May Depart,” competed at Cannes in 2015, is reteaming with French studio MK2 on his next directorial effort, “Money & Love,” a tumultuous love story set in China’s crime world.

“Money & Love’s” story opens in 2001, in Datong, a poor industrial city in China, where Qiao, a young dancer falls in love with Bin, a local mobster. During a fight between rival gangs Qiao fires a shot to protect him and subsequently gets sentenced to five years in prison. Upon her release, Qiao goes looking for Bin to try and start all over again.

Juliette Schrameck, managing director of MK2 Films, and Fionnuala Jamison, who heads international sales at MK2, said “Money & Love” would be Jia’s most ambitious drama to date in terms of scope and scale. “It’s an epic love story which unfolds over 15 years, as well as a thriller taking place in China’s crime underworld,” explained Schrameck, who also said that MK2 was on board to co-produce the film on top of handling international sales on it.

MK2 co-produced and sold “Mountains May Depart” across the world.

Shanghai Film Group Corp., Beijing-set Xstream Pictures, Huanxi Media Group Ltd., MK Prods. and Office Kitano are producing the 6.4 million euro ($6.8 million) film, which is now in pre-production and is set for a delivery in December.

MK2 has also boarded Tom Volf’s “Maria by Callas,” a documentary about the late opera legend Maria Callas. Pic features exclusive footage, photographs, Callas’ own Super 8 films, private live recordings, intimate letters, and rare behind-the scenes archival footage.

“This documentary will deliver an intimate look at the famous opera singer from her own perspective, as told in her own words, 40 years after her death,” said Schrameck.

“Maria by Callas” is produced by Petit Dragon, Elephant Doc, and Volf Prods.

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