Cannes – An exceptional team of leading producers and broadcasters from China, France, Germany and Australia have announced their intent to co-operate on a major international scripted series, Farewell Shanghai.
The drama has been developed by award-winning screenwriter and director Radu Mihaileanu (The Concert, The Source, Live & Become, Train of Life…) and is adapted from Angel Wagenstein’s sweeping epic novel. The series recounts the shared destinies of a group of European Jewish refugees and Chinese characters in Shanghai, between 1938 and 1945.
Farewell Shanghai will be shot in China in English by K’ien Productions, Banijay Studios France, Breakout Films and France Televisions (France); Shanghai Media Group Pictures and Holy Mountain Films (China); AMPCO Studios (Australia) and NDF (Germany). An extended Chinese version of the series will also be produced for the Chinese market.
Takis Candilis, Head of Fiction at Banijay Group, comments, “We are extremely pleased to be partnering with such an illustrious alliance of talents and producers to recreate this mesmerizing story for the screen.”
Wendy Xioalan Zhan, CEO of Holy Mountain Pictures adds, “This is real history, we hope through the series which will be filmed entirely in China, everyone will get to know this epic period. It will also show the friendship between Chinese people and Jewish people, the resistance to oppression, and the spirit of offering timely help to each other.”
David Kodsi and Julien Rouch from K’ien Productions adds, “Farewell Shanghai is an intense, fabulous and romantic drama series which will take viewers from the carefree bohemia of late 1930’s Paris to the charm of the Orient and expose the intrigues and excesses of the French ex-patriots in Shanghai.”
Eric Welbers, CEO of NDF adds, “Radu Mihaileanu is an exceptional talent and Farewell Shanghai will bring together the universal themes that infuse all his work – identity, love, music, exile, and the fragility of the human condition when confronted with the chaos of history.”
Mario Andreacchio, Executive Director AMPCO Studios adds “We are very proud to be bringing our experience and resources in China to help realise this historically significant project under China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ policy of collaboration with Europe.”
Farewell Shanghai opens in 1938 as war threatens in Europe and the Nazis launch their pogroms against the Jews. While nations are closing their borders to refugees, the last haven is the open city of Shanghai. Some 20,000 of them are soon crammed into the ghetto of Hongkew, beside the luxurious French and international concessions.
Through the shared destiny of characters with a diverse background, an epic and troubling fresco is drawn between Europe and China. It is a story in which love, courage and hope struggle to prevail amid the barbarism and chaos of history, against the fascinating backdrop of Shanghai in the 1930s and 40s.