Production starts this week on Mandarin Films’ historical epic, Hundred Years Of A Floating City, to be directed by Yim Ho.

Set in Hong Kong in 1980s, the film follows a fisherman’s son who rises to become a powerful “tai pan” or businessman. Aaron Kwok, Charlie Yeung and Nina Paw Hee-ching head the cast. Paw won best actress at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2009 for her role in Ann Hui’s The Way We Are.

Mandarin is financing and handling international sales on the films and may bring in a mainland Chinese production and distribution partner. Shooting will start on March 25 with release tentatively scheduled for the end of the year.

Yim Ho was one of Hong Kong’s leading directors in the 1980s and a leader of the Hong Kong New Wave. His credits include award-winning titles such as Homecoming in 1984 and Red Dust in 1990. More recently he directed A West Lake Moment, starring Chen Kun, in 2004.