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Stage meets screen

By Wang Kaihao | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-10 08:04

Stage meets screen

Wang Pengfei and his company, Wonpennon Media, are producing plays tailored for the country's young audiences. [Photo by Jiang Dong/China Daily]

An entrepreneur aims to bring live theater and cinema closer through a history-themed entertainment project. Wang Kaihao reports.

In the eight years since he founded Wonpennon Media, Wang Pengfei has worked toward bringing the stage and cinema closer. His studio in Beijing has backed plays created to appeal to young audiences.

In January, he announced a project that aims to simultaneously prepare a play and a feature film, both titled Kuilong Jade.

Based on the same historical story, the play will be staged in August while the film's shooting is expected to begin in the next six months.

The film, which will see an investment by iQiyi Pictures, will be released in late 2018, Wang says.

"We're prepared in market and technology," the 30-year-old entrepreneur says. "It's a start. I remember my early years when I had to sell tickets for our plays myself. Today, it's not easier."

Based on true events during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), it depicts the story of Zhu Qizhen, an emperor, who was captured by Mongols along with his loyal guard, Yuan Bin.

The protagonists are shown as interdependent during their years in captivity, but cracks appear in their bond later when the emperor returns to his throne in Beijing.

"I prefer to do something close to the public's tastes. And today's audience has an extraordinary sense of aesthetics, so we need to produce something in-depth," Wang says.

In the story, a piece of jade shaped like kuilong (a dragon-like deity in Chinese mythology) is given as a gift by the emperor to Yuan in honor of their friendship that crosses social barriers such as status.

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