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Documentary movie gathers A-list stars to 'battle' poverty

By Xu Fan | | Updated: 2020-01-17 09:43
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Zhao Wei, director of Starlight, shares her memories of the documentary film Starlight in a Beijing sneak preview. [Photo by Xu Fan/China Daily]

Starlight, a documentary movie recording Chinese filmmakers' efforts to alleviate poverty, will debut on the China Movie Channel, or CCTV-6, on Jan 18.

Under the helm of Zhao Wei, a renowned actress and director, the movie emerged from a charity program launched by the channel in June 2018, which has drawn 33 A-list stars to visit some of the most poverty-stricken areas in China, using their influence to promote local tourist attractions or agricultural products.

The top celebrities include kung fu giant Jackie Chan, actor Huang Xiaoming (The Bravest), actress Li Bingbing (The Meg), actor Chen Kun (Mojin: The Lost Legend), actress Zhou Xun (Our Time will Come) and actor Liu Haoran (Detective Chinatown franchise).

A scene in Starlightfeatures Huang Xiaoming. [Photo provided to China Daily]

One of the more interesting segments involves Huang, who traveled to Jiangcheng Hani and Yi autonomous county in Yunnan province, and discovered that the top "enemies" that have harassed locals and caused poverty are a bunch of wild Asian elephants.

More than 70 such giant "uninvited guests" have been discovered in the county. They have stamped on farmlands and eaten or destroyed a lot of plants, causing a financial loss around 40 million yuan to more than 4,800 families.

Huang said in a trailer that the tour has propelled him to think more about the relationship between humankind and nature.

A sneak preview was held in the Beijing office of the China Movie Channel on Jan 8, gathering director Zhao as well as dozens of experts and insiders to exchange views on the upcoming movie.

A scene in Starlight features Jackie Chan. [Photo provided to China Daily]
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