Zhao Tao (“Mountains May Depart”) and Liao Fan (“Black Coal, Thin Ice”) are set to star in Jia Zhang-ke’s new film, “Ash is Purest White,” the Chinese auteur’s follow up to “Mountains May Depart” which world premiered in competition at Cannes.
Previously titled “Money & Love,” “Ash is Purest White” tells “a story of violent love with a time frame from 2001 to 2017,” said Zhang-ke about the project.
MK2 represents “Ash is Purest White” in international markets and is co-producing via MK Productions, along with Shanghai Film Group, Xstream Pictures (Beijing), Huanxi Media Group Limited, Beijing Runjin Investment and Office Kitano.
An epic love story set against the backdrop of China’s crime underworld, “Ash is Purest White” opens in 2001, in a poor industrial city in China called Datong, where Qiao, a young dancer who falls in love with Bin, a local mobster. During a fight between rival gangs Qiao fires a shot to protect him and subsequently gets sentenced to five years in prison. Upon her release, Qiao goes looking for Bin to try and start all over again.
“Ash is the Purest White” is believed to be Jia’s most ambitious drama to date in terms of scope and scale.
A well-known Chinese actress, Tao has starred in all of Zhang-ke’s feature films since “Platform” in 2000 in which she delivered a breakthrough performance. She has since then starred in the director’s “Unknown Pleasures,””The World,””Still Life,””24 City,” A Touch of Sin” and “Mountain May Depart.”
Tao’s acting credits also include Andrea Segre’s “Io Sono Li.” With this film, Tao became the first Asian actor to win The David di Donatello Award for Best Actress.
Fan, meanwhile, won best actor at Berlin Film Festival for his role in “Black Coal, Thin Ice.” He’s the first Chinese actor to win that prize at Berlin. His other credits include “The Master,””Guilty of Mind,””Let The Bullet Fly” and “The Assembly.”
The film is expected to wrap production during the summer of 2018.