Bursztejn back in business with Wang in China


Producer Sylvain Bursztejn is teaming with Wang Chao for the director's third film, he said Thursday at the 10th annual Shanghai International Film Festival.

Their previous collaboration, "Luxury Car," made a splash at the Festival de Cannes in 2006, taking the prize in the Un Certain Regard sidebar.

The new film, "Starting Over," is a French-Chinese co-production made in cooperation with Zhejiang Golden Globe Picture Co. Ltd. and will be helmed by Chen Jinhai, Bursztejn said in an interview.

It's the seventh Chinese production for Bursztejn's Paris-based Rosem Films. The production company, which has had a Beijing office for three years, announced the opening of Rosem Films HK to establish a stronger presence in the Chinese market.

"Starting Over" will be filmed in Hangzhou, the capital of eastern China's Zhejiang Province, and is scheduled to film for 50 days beginning Sept. 1.

After his success at Cannes, Wang has developed a reputation in Europe, Bursztejn said. He hopes this movie can be a bridge between the art house films for which Rosem Films is known and the broader market.

"I am happy to be working again with Wang. We know each other by heart and have a great working relationship," Bursztejn said.

Wang takes screenwriting credit in this exploration of modern relationships. After an unfaithful wife and her lover are injured in an automobile accident, the wife loses several years of memory, and the husband races to win her love again before she regains the memory of her other suitor.

The film has raised its $2 million budget from a mix of European and Chinese backers, Bursztejn said. Since it will be a mainland China production, it will be certified for distribution in China. Bursztejn said distributors have shown interest but did not give further details.

The Chinese market remains a challenge for foreign productions and is still a developing market, Bursztejn said. He predicts that Chinese cinema will be one of the biggest elements shaping international film markets in the coming years.

"You can't think of seriously operating in China without establishing a full-time presence and really learning the market and the culture. This move facilitates our development in this market," he said of Rosem Films HK.