Beijing-based production outfit Dadi Film has set up an international sales arm to shop its $23m biopic of Chinese philosopher Confucius, starring Chow Yun-fat and Zhou Xun.

Co-produced by Dadi and China Film Group, the film is shooting in China until July and is scheduled for release during Chinese New Year 2010.

The film is directed by female filmmaker Hu Mei, who is known for her top-rating TV series such as The Yongzheng Dynasty. Other behind-the-scenes talent includes Oscar-winning DoP Peter Pau (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Oscar-nominated costume designer Yee Chung Man (Curse Of The Golden Flower).
The story follows Confucius, who lived in the 6th Century BC, from his days as a court official, through battles and political intrigues, to his old age as a disillusioned sage. Around 350 visual effects shots are being put together for the film.
Dadi executive director John Sham is hoping to strike a multi-territory deal on the project and is understood to be talking to studios. The company will co-distribute with China Film Group in mainland China, where it is has a distribution licence and operates 32 DCI-compliant digital cinemas with 150 screens.
Dadi is also co-producing Echoes Of The Rainbow with Hong Kong’s Mei Ah Entertainment, which is directed by Alex Law and Mabel Cheung. Set in 1960s Hong Kong, the film stars Simon Yam and Sandra Ng.