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China Modern Film and Television Development (HK) is to handle international sales of “The Rescue.” The film is a big-budget Chinese action thriller, by smash hit director Dante Lam (“Operation Red Sea,” “Stool Pigeon”) with the bankable Eddie Peng in the lead role.

The Hong Kong-based company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Modern Film and Television Development, one of the producers of the $90 million picture. It will represent the film for most international territories. At FilMart in March it was announced that Hong Kong studio Emperor Motion Pictures would be handling distribution in selected territories in Asia.

Now in the final stages of production, the film is a spectacular feast of action – without prominent guns or martial arts – featuring China’s Coast Guard Services in airborne, marine and mountain rescues. Locations included China and Baja, Mexico. The film is set for release at Chinese New Year season in early 2020.

Lam and producer Candy Leung assembled a multinational crew including Martin Laing (“Titanic,” “Pearl Harbor” and “Clash of the Titans”) and cinematographer Peter Pau (“Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,” “Forbidden Kingdom”).

The story focuses on five characters who form the nucleus of a rescue unit. The diverse emergencies, force them into joint problem-solving, and reveal their different personalities. Alongside Peng, the cast includes Xin Zhilei (“Crosscurrent”) as a female helicopter pilot, Wang Yanlin (“Operation Red Sea”), Lan Yingying, Xu Yang, Li Mincheng, and Wang Yutian.

Former EMP veteran, May Yip, is acting as a consultant to China Modern. She will operate from a special purpose office in Cannes, on the margins of the Cannes Film Festival.