Production is under way on “The Whistleblower,” one of the biggest Australian-Chinese co-production movies ever made. The film is a thriller about a Chinese expatriate who discovers a conspiracy at the firm he is working for.
The film is directed by Chinese woman director Xue Xiaolu, who achieved a critical breakthrough in 2010 by putting Jet Li in a drama role in “Ocean Heaven.”She achieved commercial success with 2013 romance “Finding Mr Right.”
The cast is headed by Lei Jiayin (“Guns and Roses”) and “Lust, Caution” and “Finding Mr Right” star Tang Wei, with Xi Qi and John Batchelor (“Red Dog”). Dialog is in Mandarin and English.
The official co-production film has a gross budget of some $39 (A$55 million) before rebates and incentives. At least $28.5 million (A$40 million) is being spent in the state of Victoria, where the Dockyards Studios are being used. Filming continues through October.
Production is by Australia-Chinese joint venture company Perfect Village, Bill Kong’s Edko Films and Beijing Carving Films. Finance comes from the Australian federal government through Screen Australia, Creative Victoria, and Film Victoria. Roadshow Films is set as the theatrical distributor in Australia. Edko Films is handling international sales and will also distribute the film in China.
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“Official co-productions are a fantastic opportunity for creative partners to come together and collaborate on story, share skill sets and benefit from the financial screen incentives offered by both countries. We are thrilled to have ‘The Whistleblower’ being produced in Australia, and are sure our Chinese guests will be impressed by the Australian cast, crew and locations,” said Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason.
The film involves line producer Dean Hood, cinematographer Marc Spicer, casting director Louise Mitchell, production designer Jeff Thorp and VFX supervisors Peter Stubbs and Scott Zero.
There is a growing number of Australian VFX and post production staff with experience on Chinese movies,” producer, and Perfect Village head Ellen Eliasoph told Variety recently in Toronto. “These are great skills to have.”