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Jia Zhangke launches Yihui with five-project slate

Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke has established a Beijing-based film investment company, Yihui Media, which has a debut slate of five projects.

Unveiled at the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF), the company is co-founded by Jia and an unnamed Chinese investment company.  Yihui Media will focus on film investment, project and talent development, while Jia’s Xstream Pictures will focus on film production.

Two of the five projects have already finished shooting: Song Fang’s feature debut Memories Look At Me, about a girl returning to her home town and re-connecting with her parents’ generation, and Fidai, a documentary from French filmmaker Damien Ounouri.

Song previously participated in Cannes Cinefoundation in 2009 and is also an actress with credits including Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Flight Of The Red Balloon. Ounouri made a documentary about Jia in 2008. Fidai, about a man recounting his experiences during the Algerian Revolution, was one of the Dubai Film Connection projects in 2010.

Meanwhile, Yihui’s upcoming projects also include drama Lost In Touch, to be directed by author Quan Ling, and set to star Guo Xiaodong (Summer Palace), Tao Hong and Zi Yi. Production is scheduled to start in August.

Yihui will also produce Chen Tao’s Rainbow, which is participating in the ongoing SIFF Project Market, and Malaysian director Tan Chui Mui’s period drama/comedy Imperial Exam, scripted by Taiwanese author Chang Ta-chun.

“We spent more than a year to prepare the establishment of the company.  We believe that these creative and award-winning filmmakers are the biggest resource of the company,” Jia said.

Yihui Media has also recruited actress Zhao Tao (Still Life) as the first artist in its talent management division.

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