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Zhang Yimou mulls over film fund

(Shanghai Daily)

10:33, August 27, 2012

Director Zhang Yimou (left) and producer Zhang Weiping [File Photo:]

Internationally acclaimed film director Zhang Yimou is planning to set up a 2-billion-yuan private equity fund to invest in films after he has reportedly split up with producer Zhang Weiping after a 16-year filmmaking partnership.

Anonymous investors have been approached by agencies inviting them to participate in the fund to be initiated by Zhang and a Shanghai company, news website reported.

The fund will raise a total of 2 billion yuan (US$314.7 million) mainly for film making and some cultural events, the website said.

Zhang, 62, and producer Zhang Weiping have worked together on 11 films but are said to have parted company after their latest film "The Flowers of War," starring Christian Bale.

The website said rumors about the ending of the partnership had been circulating since March.

Zhang Weiping confirmed a rumor that he had left the New Picture Co studio when he gave an interview last Wednesday.

In it he said that he hadn't met Zhang Yimou since "The Flowers of War" premiere and that he "now has no more business with him," according to the website.

The report said the director of "The Road Home," "House of Flying Daggers" and "Curse of the Golden Flower" had been talking to other studios in the past few months, but contract negotiations were said to have stalled.

According to the website, Zhang rejected an offer from Beijing Galloping Horse Film & TV Production worth more than 100 million yuan.

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