U.S. audiences get to drink Chinese-made 'Milk'

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SHANGHAI -- "Milk and Fashion" producer Jay Rothstein is aiming to bring his high-profile, Chinese-produced film to U.S. audiences and also to sign a distribution deal for it to screen in major cities around China "within weeks."

The film first began to gain media attention in the U.S. last year when Jeremy Miller, former child star of the TV series "Growing Pains," was cast in the project. Miller and the rest of the American, British, and Dutch cast all speak Chinese in the film. Miller is hugely popular with Chinese TV audiences, for whom "Growing Pains" was a big hit (HR 4/10/07).

A $1.4 million U.S.-China-Japan co-production with Taiwanese television director Roy Chin, "Fashion" is being pitched by Rothstein as the "Billy Elliot"-esque story of Tyler, a white, Chinese-speaking teenage ballet dancer nicknamed "Milk," who falls in love with a Chinese ballerina nicknamed "Fashion."

The film had a highly publicized premiere here Thursday, with Rothstein and Chin toasting the news that the film had received distribution permission from the Chinese government two weeks ago at the end of a six-month-long negotiating process.

Rothstein said that the film will be showing in China's major cities in March, adding that a distribution deal will be signed "in a week or so." He added that he hopes to release a subtitled version of the movie in the U.S. -- but no timetable was outlined.
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