At a recent Beijing press conference, a movie was announced to start shooting with the goal of recreating the heyday of foreign trade in Guangzhou, the only portal city allowed to open to the West under the regime of Emperor Qianlong in the 18th century.
Titled as The 13 Hongs, in reference to the neighborhood in the outskirts of Guangzhou that housed Chinese and foreign merchants during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the movie will center on the ups and downs of a Canton tycoon's son.
Aside from a look at international business of the time, the movie will also feature Chinese embroidery craftsmanship of the Guangdong and Gansu provinces, which the crew will tour to shoot the major scenes.
The movie has been in preparation for around six years and the major hurdle has been finding architectural structures that look similar to the Canton commercial buildings of the 18th century, said Xie Limin, the movie's director. Xie is a veteran stage show director based in Shanghai, and will work alongside Hong Kong kung fu giant, Sammo Hung, as the executive producer. The lead roles will be performed by actor Chi Shuai and actress Han Xue.