Charlie Yeung’s Directorial Debut, “Christmas Rose” Explores Sexual Harassment
It took five long years for Charlie Yeung (楊采妮) to realize her directing dreams. This summer, the Hong Kong actress will finally release her directorial debut, Christmas Rose <聖誕玫瑰> in cinemas!
A legal thriller about an ambiguous rape case, the film is produced by Tsui Hark (徐克) and Jacob Cheung (張之亮). The film stars Aaron Kwok (郭富城) as defense attorney Tim, who quits his empowering job to work as a prosecutor for the Justice Department. Tim agrees to help the handicapped piano teacher, Jing (Kwai Lun Mei 桂綸鎂), who is suing her doctor, Zhou (Chang Chen 張震) for sexual harassment during a routine check-up.
The case is trickier than Tim originally perceived. Not only is Zhou a renowned surgeon with an impressive reputation, Zhou’s defense attorney, Freddy (Xia Yu 夏雨) is also Tim’s successor at his old law firm. The ambitious Freddy strives to defeat Tim in the high-stakes legal battle.
Charlie has been working on the script of Christmas Rose since early 2008. After winning an HAF Excellence Award at the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum in 2009, Christmas Rose received full financing from the organization, which totaled $2 million USD.
A minute-long teaser trailer was released on Tuesday, which showcased some of the film’s intensive court battles. A press conference was held on the same day in Beijing, attended by the film’s cast and crew.
Tsui Hark expressed that he immediately agreed to help Charlie after she presented the project to him a few years ago. “It has been a while since I have released films as a producer. Charlie has chosen a very daring topic to explore, and the entire film looks very challenging to make. I really want to help her complete [the project].”
Yu Dong (于冬), the CEO of the film’s production company, Bona Films, admitted that he was initially hesitant on investing in the film. With such a controversial topic serving as the film’s core, Yu feared that the film would become a critical and commercial disappointment. “After seeing Charlie’s hard work and knowing that producers Tsui Hark and Jacob Cheung are completely supporting her, my confidence in the project grew. Thanks to Charlie’s ‘friendship cards,’ the film is now supported by a huge cast!”
“The film’s subject matter is a nightmare that none of us ever dared to touch on,” said Chang Chen. “I was a bit iffy about accepting this film. After all, sexual harassment is a very taboo topic.”
The film’s other male lead, Aaron, agreed with Chang Chen and said, “This topic can be painful for both males and females. I was worried about how Charlie would handle it.”
However, it was Charlie’s well-written and “mind-blowing” script that won the actors over. “It is the truth,” said Xia Yu. “It was the right decision to film this movie. Thank you, Charlie, for inviting us!” The mainland actor then added humorously, “Thank you, Charlie, for not asking me to portray the sexually harassed victim!”
Introduced as the film’s secret weapon, Chang Chen’s casting was not revealed to the rest of the cast until during the film’s first post-shooting press conference. Chang Chen portrays the lustful doctor Zhou, the film’s central figure of debate.
“Yes, I portray the lustful doctor,” Chang Chen said with a smile. “So apparently, this is the image that Charlie has of me!”
Christmas Rose is planned for a May 2013 release in mainland China.
“Christmas Rose” Trailer
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.
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