SIFF PROJECT | 2017 SIFF PROJECT MANCHURIAN TIGER Begins Filming
Directed by GENG Jun, starring ZHANG Yu, MA Li, the film MANCHURIAN TIGER began filming recently in Hegang City, Heilongjiang Province. The project was listed in Shanghai International Film Festival · SIFF PROJECT in 2017.
Director GENG Jun has long been based in Northeast China to develop his film career. With his unique "black humor" style, Geng has gradually become a creator of prominence among contemporary Chinese young directors.
GENG Jun (second from left) at the 2017 Shanghai International Film Festival · SIFF PROJECT
GENG Jun is good at capturing the kindness and evilness of obscure figures facing opportunity and hindrance, and releasing a kind of humorous and absurd "strength". Continuing such style, MANCHURIAN TIGER tells a black story of a man from Northeast China avenging a dog, hiding himself from debt collectors, and getting his families and friends involved, reflecting the status quo of society. According to the director, the prototype of the film was formed in 2012 and has since then underdone six years of careful polishing. He also admitted that this is a "new and interesting story”. Compared with his previous productions, MANCHURIAN TIGER has been greatly upgraded in scene arrangement, story complexity, cast, and many other aspects. It is expected to bring audience a satisfactory viewing experience.
The still featuring the male and female protagonists have already revealed a strong sense of drama
The actor ZHANG Yu and the "Queen of the Comedy" MA Li joined hands for the first time in the film, accompanied by the "Diva of Literary Films", GUO Yue and Director GENG’s dedicated cast: ZHANG Zhiyong, XU Gang, ZHANG Xun, YUAN Liguo, XUE Baohe from the Whitemane Agency, offering audience a painting with typical northeast China vibes. On the day of opening, all the members of the crew sent their wishes for the smooth shooting and production of the film.
At the recently-concluded 55th Golden Horse Awards, the leading actor ZHANG Yu was nominated for Best Supporting Actor with the blockbuster DYING TO SURVIVE, and AN ELEPHANT SITTING STILL starred by him won the Best Film Award. In the recent hit A COOL FISH, Zhang’s impressive performance as the "stupid thief" Hu Guangsheng has won the hearts of the audience. The glorious achievements of the "Dark Horse" this year is enough to prove his professionalism. As an actor cautious in selecting characters, he has made a bold attempt this time – to play a role quite different from previous ones.
The leading actress MA Li has starred in two films with box office of over one billion in recent years – GOODBYE MR. LOSER and NEVER SAY DIE by Fun Age Entertainment. Despite her unshakable position in commercial films, it is the first time for MA to feature in a literary film filled with author’s characters. In this cooperation with GENG Jun, MA Li will present an unprecedented role and performance. GENG said, MANCHURIAN TIGER will allow the audience to see the infinite possibilities of MA Li as an excellent actress, and he hoped MA Li would break her stereotype and provided her with a bigger art space for performance.
Crew of MANCHURIAN TIGER
MANCHURIAN TIGER has a strong production team as well: Director GENG Jun, winner of the Golden Horse Award for THE HAMMER AND SICKLE ARE SLEEPING; Cinematographer WANG Weihua, the creation partner of GENG for years, also the cinematography director for the winner of the Jury Grand Prix, SIFF Golden Goblet Awards – ALA CHANGSO (by Sonthar Gyal), WALKING PAST THE FUTURE (by LI Ruijun), and MOSAIC PORTRAIT (by ZHAI Yixiang); Art Director LAN Zhiqiang, also the art director of WRATH OF SILENCE (by XIN Yukun) and IN WINTER (by ZHANG Dalei); LOU Kun, who has participated in the production of AN ELEPHANT SITTING STILL (by HU Bo) and FREE AND EASY, will work again with GENG Jun as director of sound effects.
Actors from Whitemane Agency (from left): XUE Baohe, ZHANG Zhiyong, ZHANG Xun, XU Gang, YUAN Liguo
Founder of Blackfin & young producer WANG Zijian, FANG Qianli and XIE Meng are the co-producers of MANCHURIAN TIGER, and ZHANG Xianmin will serve as supervisor, LIU Bing and GENG Jun as co-scriptwriters. The production company Blackfin has independently developed and produced a number of films selected by Sundance Film Festival, Locarno International Film Festival, Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival and other major film festivals, including KAILI BLUES, KNIFE IN THE CLEAR WATER, FREE AND EASY and MOSAIC PORTRAIT. Blackfin is pursuing its own film dreams with international vision, constantly injecting new vitality into the world film market. U.LAN Media is an emerging comprehensive film & TV media entertainment company in China. In recent years, it has produced many excellent film and television works, such as THE ROAD NOT TAKEN and the first Sino-Russian co-production HOW I BECAME RUSSIAN. One of the production companies, Rediance, will also be responsible for the international distribution of MANCHURIAN TIGER. With the profound expertise of the director, the award-winning resume of the crew, and the escort by the producers, the black comedy is bound to be the most anticipated film in recent years.
The film has started official shooting and is expected to finish before the Spring Festival.