Fortissimo Films has picked up Taiwanese epic Seediq Bale, directed by Wei Te-sheng whose Cape No. 7 is the highest-grossing local film ever in Taiwan.

Set in the 1930s when Taiwan (then Formosa) was under Japanese occupation, the $25m film follows the doomed struggle of more than 300 indigenous Seediq warriors who banded together and launched a rebellion against the Japanese.

Terence Chang, John Woo and Taiwan’s Jimmy Huang are producing, while the cast includes native aboriginal Taiwanese actors along with Japanese star Ando Masanobu and Taiwanese actress Vivian Hsu. The film was co-produced by ARS Film Production, Central Motion Picture Corporation (CMPC) and Ji Fu Group.

The producers are planning an autumn festival launch, followed by a Taiwanese release in September through CMC Entertainment.

The deal for international rights was negotiated by Jimmy Huang and Jade Lee of CMPC and Michael J. Werner and Esther Yeung of Fortissimo. 

Fortissimo chairman Michael J Werner said: “Seediq Bale depicts one of those compelling but  little known episodes in history that has the power to educate, inspire and  move us as humans to  believe in the possibility of succeeding against all odds.”