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The Chinese Boost NL selection THE NEO-NEW ADVENTURES may be modest in terms of budget but epic in terms of scope and ambition. Qiu Jiongjiong’s film tells the story of an acting troupe over a 60-year period, seen both on and off stage, as they portray kings and queens, ghosts and goblins, scholars and beauties.

The film is very personal, based on the director’s own family history and the slow demise of the Sichuan opera tradition. The title derives from the name of the performing troupe depicted onscreen, which literally translates as “the new out of the new.”

“We are kind of nervous about people being overwhelmed by the richness of this long-term story,” explains producer Cheng Rui of the project which received Hubert Bals Fund script development support. “It is an arthouse film, very low budget [€300,000] and made very independently. It is the director’s first fiction film - before that he made five documentary films - so it is an adventure for all of us.”

“We are still testing the script, working on the second draft and looking to adjust and improve it,” continues Rui, who has meetings with a script doctor as well as sales and festival representatives. “We will assess the importance of the feedback - we may not always agree with it bit it is very important to us.”

The producer also points out the pair will investigate co-production opportunities while in Utrecht, especially with Dutch and French partners. “France and The Netherlands have a long history of supporting arthouse films. We are also looking for information about funds and festivals, and distribution.”

Jiongjiong is looking to shoot in April 2019 with delivery scheduled for an unspecified date in 2020 depending on the length of editing and post-production periods, “which will be as long as they need to be,” underlines producer Rui.
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