Cannes: Chinese Drama 'June' to Star Aaron Kwok, Miao Miao

Tianying Media
Aaron Kwok and Miao Miao in Cannes

The film, unveiled Wednesday in Cannes, is the feature debut of Chinese director Wang Yang.

Hong Kong star Aaron Kwok and rising Chinese actress Miao Miao swept into Cannes on Wednesday to reveal that they are set to co-star in the Chinese suspense drama June, the feature-length directorial debut of Wang Yang.

The film will be co-financed and produced by Tianying Media and Arri China. May Leung of music production and talent company Top Trend — Aaron Kwok’s manager for the past 25 years — will also produce. Kwok is a pillar of the Hong Kong and mainland Chinese entertainment landscape, while Miao Miao was one of the breakout stars of Feng Xiaogang's recent blockbuster Youth

Based on Wang's awarding-winning short The Little Violinist, June follows the story of Jun (Miao), an aspiring cellist who grew up in New York’s Chinatown. Her life is turned upside-down when she discovers a secret about her loving father (Kwok). Under the strain of preparing for a life-changing music competition, combined with the trauma of searching through his mysterious past, life as she knows it rapidly begins to unravel.

Tianying Film was established in 2015 and has a strategic partnership with the state-backed China Film Group. Other recent investments include a sizable stake in director Teng Huatao's forthcoming $60 million sci-fi action film Shanghai Fortress, starring Shu Qi and Lu Han.

"We were drawn to June by the talents demonstrated by Wang Yang as a burgeoning Chinese filmmaker living in New York, and we want to start an initiative whereby first-time feature filmmakers can tell their stories, and we will support them with a production platform to produce commercially successful films," said Tianying Media's CEO Wu Jian in a statement.

Arri Media is handling European sales on the pic, with sales for the rest of the world handled by Tianying Media.

"We are thrilled to be part of this unique feature project," said Moritz Hemminger, deputy head of sales and acquisitions at ARRI Media International. "Yang Wang is an incredibly talented director and after reading the script, we immediately noticed that this powerful and emotional story has the potential to touch a worldwide audience."

A version of this story appears in The Hollywood Reporter's May 10 daily issue from the Cannes Film Festival.