Ren set to go the 'Distance' for Rothstein


HONG KONG -- China-based producer Jay Rothstein said Tuesday that David Ren will direct his next project, "Distance Runners."

"Distance Runners," a $2.4 million co-production between Rothstein's China Venture Films and Yunnan Minority Film Studio, is the story of a Chinese ultra-marathon runner who tries to tackle a 100-mile run through the mountains of Yunnan.

"I wanted someone bilingual, experienced and who understands both cultures," Rothstein said. "I also wanted someone I felt had his heart and soul in the film. David's very passionate."

Ren, who directed "Shanghai Kiss" in 2007, was born in Shanghai but grew up in New York City.

For "Distance Runners," Jeffrey Chu has signed on as cinematographer, with a story by Richard Trombly. (Trombly has worked as a reporter for The Hollywood Reporter.) Rothstein is working on an updated edition of the script.

Leads have not been confirmed, but Eugenia Yuan, Cheng Pei Pei and Ge You have signed on for supporting roles.

Shanghai-based Rothstein's first film, "Milk and Fashion," another Sino-American co-production, will be distributed in China in June.