China plans film to mark Party birthday

90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party

After its successful propaganda movie to mark 60 years of communist rule, China's leading state-run studio is working on a follow-up timed to coincide with next year's 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party.

Filmmakers are drafting the script and choosing locations for "The Founding of a Party," China Film Group spokesman Weng Li told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday.

Weng said shooting would start later this year, with a targeted release date of around July 2011. The Chinese Communist Party celebrates its 90th anniversary July 1 next year.

Last year, China Film Group released "The Founding of a Republic" to mark the Chinese government's 60th year in power. By injecting star power into the movie -- Jackie Chan, Jet Li and a slew of the Chinese film industry's biggest names had cameos -- the studio produced a rare boxoffice hit for the traditionally staid genre of propaganda cinema, with the 60 million yuan ($8.8 million) production earning 415 million yuan ($61 million). Its strong results were also helped by politically correct theater operators who inundated their multiplexes with screenings.

China Film Group is hoping for a repeat with "The Founding of a Party."

Weng said he expects another all-star cast, but suggested that filmmakers may avoid the flurry of cameos that characterized "The Founding of a Republic."

He said that while many stars would take part, the focus would be "on certain characters."