Chinese filmmaker Wang Quanan is to start shooting historic epic White Deer Plain, starring Kitty Zhang Yuqi, Duan Yihong and Zhang Fengyi.

Chinese filmmaker Wang Quanan (Tuya’s Marriage, Apart Together) is to start shooting historic epic White Deer Plain, starring Kitty Zhang Yuqi (CJ7, All About Woman), Duan Yihong (The Message, Hot Summer Days) and Zhang Fengyi (Red Cliff, Farewell My Concubine).

The film, budgeted at $14.75m (RMB100m) is the biggest-budgeted film project of Wang, to be produced and invested by Wang’s Lightshades Film Productions, Xi’an Film and TV Production and Xi’an-based Western Film Group Corporation.  Wang’s Berlin Golden Bear winning Tuya’s Marriage and Silver Bear Best Screenplay winner Apart Together are both budgeted between $1.5m to $2m.

Shooting will start in a week in Xi’an, where the story is based.  The story of White Deer Plain is based on author Chen Zhongshi’s epic novel of the same title, about family feud between two major families in northwest China, fighting over family honor and the auspicious land called White Deer Plain.  The feud was set during the turbulent years in modern China, spanning from the 1911 revolution to World War II and to the rise of the Communist party in 1949.  Well-known Chinese filmmakers including Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige had both planned to adapt the novel into a movie.

Also joining the production team are German cinematographer Lutz Reitemeier, who had worked with Wang in Tuya’s Marriage (2006), Weaving Girl (2009) and Apart Together (2010) and production designer Huo Tingxiao who had worked with Zhang Yimou in Curse of the Golden Flowers (2007) and House of Flying Daggers (2004).

Wang told Screendaily that his Lightshades Film Productions is now seeking international sales agent for the film.  His previous Tuya’s Marriage and Weaving Girl were handled by French Pretty Pictures while his last film work Apart Together was handled by Celluloid Dreams.